The Board of Supervisors in October awarded $171,000 for a 1,300-square-foot Grass Valley house to be constructed by Nevada County Habitat for Humanity.
The money will be used for construction materials, permit fees and other costs for a four-bedroom, two-bath house on Orchard Way scheduled to be completed in summer 2024. The funds are coming from the state Permanent Local Housing Allocation Funds distributed to the Western Regional Housing Trust Fund. Partners in the fund are the County, Grass Valley and the City of Nevada City.
The house is going to Angela, a single mother of three children who makes less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (about $82,000 for a family of four). Angela, who holds two jobs as a full-time customer service representative and a part-time server, has had to move several times in the last few years. She said the home will finally give her and her children the stability they have always wanted.
“There’s so much that comes with it- consistency, friendship, being part of the community,” she said in an interview this week at Habitat’s Grass Valley office. “It’s the simple things like hanging a picture on the wall and knowing that you’re not going to take it down in a year that gives you that feeling of security.”
Angela will purchase the home with a 0 percent interest mortgage from Habitat, will contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” to help build it, and will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs. Her mortgage payment is expected to be less than $1,000 a month, said Lorraine Larson, Habitat executive director. The house is deed restricted, which means it is required to stay with a homeowner making no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income for 30 years, which means no one will be able to flip it and sell it at market rate.
Angela is grateful for the opportunity to purchase the home and is excited that each of her kids – ages 10, 13 and 19 will get their own bedrooms.
She is touched by how many volunteers will help her get her house, from contractors to counselors who help her plan her finances. “It’s so unreal that strangers came together to help someone they don’t even know have a home,” she said. “It’s allowing the kids to see that there are good people in the world that are here to help.”
The Permanent Local Housing Allocation Funds come from a $75 recording fee on real estate documents and are intended to create a funding source local jurisdictions can use to increase the supply of affordable housing. Nevada City and Grass Valley have delegated the County to administer the funds through the Western Regional Housing Trust Fund. Housing is one of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors’ priorities.
To date, the County has used PLHA funds to help develop Cashin’s Field, a 51-unit affordable workforce housing development as well as Lone Oak II in Penn Valley, a 31-unit affordable housing development for seniors (the balance of construction financing on that project is still in the works.
Habitat for Humanity was awarded the most recent contract after it answered the County’s Request for Proposals for an owner-occupied housing project. Applications received were scored by members of the trust fund and participating cities.
County supervisors praised the work of Habitat for Humanity at the October 24 meeting when the funds were allocated. “I think this is one of the most important affordable housing programs that we offer in our community,” said Supervisor Lisa Swarthout.
Angela is grateful that the County is contributing to Habitat for Humanity. “If it wasn’t for this program, where is the hope in this county?” she said. “This is saying the County does care.”
PHOTO: Angela sits with her children Juliet, now 13; Xavier, now 10 and Jewelianna, now 19. Photo provided by Angela.