$6M urban home project for lower-income families

A $6 million Carson City home-building program set to break ground by the end of the year will provide homes for 40 lower-income families.

The town homes are the first urban project constructed by Citizens for Affordable Home Inc. and funded by a private financier. The nonprofit home builder has only constructed in rural areas using loans secured by the feds.

"This is totally new for us and it's really exciting," said Ron Trunk, chief executive officer of Citizens for Affordable Homes.

The town homes will be on 2.75 acres off Gordon and Brown streets in east Carson City, said Greg Nixon, market president for Irwin Union Bank and Trust, which is financing the project.

"We're happy to be teaming up with CAHI (Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc.) to address the low and moderate income housing needs in our community," he said.

The 40 town homes will be constructed in five phases, of eight homes per phase, over a year. The plan is pending city approval. The land is on commercial and multi-family residential, which means a special use permit is required. It also needs to complete a tentative map process, according to the city.

Trunk said Monday the organization is negotiating to buy another two acres adjacent to the site off Highway 50 East for a future expansion of 20-30 town homes.

"If all goes well with infrastructure and design plans, we will start building in the first quarter of 2007," Trunk said.

The town homes will each have three bedrooms with two baths. They are expected to be priced at $180,000-$200,000. The engineering was conducted by Resource Concepts Inc., of Carson City.

Those who qualify for the self-help program will assist in building their town home, rather than make a down payment. Home builders must have an acceptable credit record for the construction loan. An income requirement must also be met.

To qualify, a single person must not make more than $38,600 a year. The income of a family of two cannot exceed $43,300. A family of three must make less than $48,000. A family of four must make less than $52,800. A family of five must make less than $56,600.

Potential homeowners will have to provide 350 hours of labor over the length of the building project. They will work on the ground floor only because of liability associated with two-story homes, Trunk said. This means the contractor, which has not been selected yet, will take a larger role in construction. Families will primarily be painting, landscaping and cleaning.

This work requirement doesn't worry Norma Darrough, who is on the waiting list for a program application.

"I'm used to hard work," she said.

Darrough, who lived in Dayton for 12 years, describes herself as temporarily homeless after a divorce left her out on her own with no equity.

She's hoping to change all that by qualifying for the program.

"This would really be a miracle," she said. "I would really love that. I need a home."

For information

Contact: Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc.

Where: 100 Pine Cone Drive in Dayton

To get an application: 883-7101

Those on the waiting list should receive their application in the mail


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