Santa Paula Times

Habitat for Humanity & Rotary readying to break ground on Oak Street home

December 07, 2001
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula will see its first Habitat for Humanity Project soon now that half of the $70,000 to build the house for a low-income family has been secured

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSanta Paula will see its first Habitat for Humanity Project soon now that half of the $70,000 to build the house for a low-income family has been secured.The City of Santa Paula helped push the effort over the top of the $35,000 mark - the final step before ground can be broken - according to Project Chairman and Renaissance High School Principal Joe Jauregui, who announced the news at a recent Rotary Club meeting.The City Council recently agreed to pay the approximate $5,000 building permit and related construction fees out of Redevelopment Agency housing set-aside funds.The Santa Paula Rotary Club is the lead agency and will be overseeing building a new home on land purchased from the city - for $1 - on Oak Street.“The Santa Paula Rotary Club is committed to making this Habitat for Humanity Home a reality,” said Jauregui.Although monetary donations are still welcome, in-kind services are now being sought.
Construction materials are needed as well as volunteers to help with the actual building of the home, which will have a value of about $70,000 once it is completed.The family who will live in the home are also required to invest “sweat equity” into building the structure.Habitat for Humanity has built homes in Fillmore and is now in the process of developing a small tract of homes in Piru. It provides the selected family, structure and plans to complete the construction as well as step-by-step project oversight.The goal of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate substandard housing worldwide. By choosing to participate as a sponsor, the Rotary Club is helping to continue the legacy of Habitat by providing simple, decent, affordable housing for families in need.An added bonus of Habitat housing is the elimination of blight: the lot on Oak Street that will be the site of the first Habitat project in Santa Paula used to hold a house that was a neighborhood eyesore.Families are selected by need, earnings, ability to repay a 0 percent interest loan and are mandated perform at least 500 hours of “sweat equity” by working to help build the home. Homeowner mortgage payments of $450 a month go back into a fund to build more houses; Habitat has the first right of refusal to buy a Habitat project home to keep the house for resale to a low-income family.For more information on the project, contact Jauregui at 525-4407.