Housing Coalition Celebrates Completion of Self Help Homes in Desert Hot Springs With 12 Happy New Home Owners

Indio, CA – August 3, 2005 – Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) and 12 happy families will celebrate the completion of their Self-Help homes in Desert Hot Springs on August 18. In CVHC Block Party fashion, the celebration will host the families, friends, dignitaries, funders and the media with traditional food, Mariachi music and the opportunity to convene for the first time as neighbors beginning at 4:30 pm at 13-145 Elisio Drive in Desert Hot Springs.

The proud homeowners built their homes using the Mutual Self-Help method of construction in which 10-12 families work for up to 12 months, 40 hours per week, building each other’s homes. Families do not move in until each home is complete. Their labor, known as, “sweat equity” is approximately 10 percent of the home’s value and is used in lieu of a cash down payment.

“These homes address the critical need for affordable housing in the desert where too many families earn far less than would allow them to buy a home,” said John Mealey, CVHC Executive Director. CVHC homes and apartments provide a high quality; safe living environment for low and very low-income individuals and families. Low-income is defined as those making 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) and very low-income as those earning 50 percent or less of the AMI.

The AMI for one person in Riverside County is $39,000; therefore, an individual would qualify as low-income with an annual salary of $31,200 and very low-income earning $19,500. $55,700 is the AMI for a family of four; $44,550 annually would be considered low-income and very low-income is $27,850 per year.

The sales prices of the 1,280- and 1,342-square-foot, three- and four-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car garage homes are $140,000 and $143,000 respectively. U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD) provides each Self-Help family a mortgage ranging from $100,000 to $130,000 at rates between one and six percent depending on family size and need. The City of Desert Hot Springs provided $100,000 in subsidy for the development. CVHC has 27 additional Self-Help homes in construction in Desert Hot Springs.

Funding for land acquisition and development; construction and permanent financing; and technical assistance were provided by USDA-RD’s Section 502 and 523 programs and the State Department of Housing and Community Development’s Cal Home Program. The total cost of the development is approximately $1,700,000.

Located in Indio, California, about one hundred miles east of Los Angeles, the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition is a non-profit housing development corporation dedicated to helping low and very-low income families improve their living conditions through advocacy, research, construction, and operation of housing and community development projects. CVHC has constructed more than 2,500 homes and apartments for low-income households in Riverside and Imperial Counties. In addition, CVHC has developed childcare centers, after-school programs, and two medical clinics. It operates various services for its tenants and others including mariachi classes, English as a Second Language, computer training and Citizenship classes, an art program, and tennis and recreational programs. Information: (760) 347-3157 or www.cvhc.org.