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Habitat For Humanity Builds Affordably in Long Beach

Being a homeowner is the American Dream realized for six Long Beach residents last week who got houses thanks to help by volunteers, nonprofits, businesses and local and federal governments.

 

While the foreclosure crisis that rocked the country recently continues to claim victims, six low-income families in Long Beach are waking up in new homes thanks to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA), the City of Long Beach and federal funding.

More than $22 million was awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to its Neighborhood Stabilization Program2 (NSP2), which was established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in response to an epidemic of foreclosures that has decimated neighborhoods, devastated families and contributed to a slump in home sales nationwide.

Median prices of homes have decreased by more than $200,000 in the past five years Long Beach alone, falling to below $300,000 as of this year.

In collaboration with the city, HFH GLA’s Long Beach Revitalization Project Initiative is utilizing NSP2 funding to purchase foreclosed homes and rehabilitate them, and then sell them at affordable prices to low-income residents, who are defined as those making below 50 percent of the local median income, according to city officials.

Program particpants will also be educated on homeownership and will receive ongoing support from HFH GLA.

“Once again, the City of Long Beach and Habitat for Humanity worked together to give hard working families the opportunity to become Long Beach homeowners," said Mayor Bob Foster in a statement.  “Long Beach is an even stronger community now that we have these families setting roots in our neighborhoods."

The new homeowners Guillermo and Manuela Avalos, Jesus and Rosa Cisneros,  Yolanda Espinosa, Yolanda Jones, Yayi Li, and Farra and Noy Ray were all honored at a celebration July 21, along with the program’s volunteers and sponsors.

Additionally, 23 more homes are slated to be sold to low-income residents in Long Beach, Lynwood and South Gate; those interested in the program can submit applications to HFH GLA.

Among individuals and organizations celebrated at the event were Councilmember Steven Neal, Lowe’s and Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles, Inc. (WINTER).

In addition to donating $600,000 to the HFH GLA, Lowe’s sponsored the 2012 National Women Build Week in which dozens of women restored a local home, according to city officials. YouthBuild students from WINTER’s Rosie the Riveter Charter School also assisted with rebuilding.

“Each home dedication is a milestone and to be able to have celebrated six in one afternoon is truly a blessing,” said Erin Rank, President/CEO of HFH GLA, in a statement. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without our partnership with the City of Long Beach, the generosity of our sponsors and volunteers and the dedication of our partner homeowners.”

To submit an application for an affordable home in Long Beach, click here or call Luis Carranza of the Homeowner Relations department at 424.246.3656.

For more information, click here or call the HFH GLA at 310.323.4663.

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