The perception of our affordable housing project in Glendale was clouded during the Rossmoyne Council Candidates Forum.
The city bought the Geneva property several years before San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity was involved in the project. It was bought at the height of the housing market.
Habitat for Humanity has built 34 homes for first-time homebuyers in seven locations in Glendale in the last 20 years. These homes provide affordable housing ownership that the southern Californian market desperately needs.
We receive assistance from public agencies, including the Glendale Housing Authority, who generally purchase and donate the land. The families selected to own the homes provide “sweat equity” toward the construction of the homes and pay their mortgage, held by Habitat with no interest charged. These families, who live and work in Glendale, would never be able to own a home otherwise.
In the case of the five Geneva homes completed in 2012, Habitat raised about $650,000 from the community and foundations to pay for the building materials, permitting fees and skilled labor needed to augment volunteer labor. The total cost of construction was about $150 per square foot. For candidates to say “there was waste after waste” is misinformed and an unfair attack on the volunteers who contributed more than 20,000 hours to help raise funds, select needy families and build these beautiful homes.
Editor’s note: The writer is president of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity