oln City families, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County (HFHLC), broke ground on their future homes August 24th in the Garden Estates neighborhood of Lincoln City. Dozens of neighbors joined the Ambríz-Sánchez and the Hallett families as well as elected officials, HFHLC board members and staff and project donors. “To see everybody up and down the street come out to welcome these parents and their kids and even offer to help build is exactly what Habitat is all about,” said HFHLC board president, Holly Romero. “This is what we mean when we say we build communities, not just homes.”
The Ambríz-Sánchez family includes four children, ranging in ages from four to twelve as well as the grandmother, Anna. This seven-member household is currently living in a three-bedroom apartment sharing one bathroom. They will help build a four-bedroom home and are excited about having more space for the children to play and a larger kitchen for preparing family meals. “We never imagined we would ever own a home,” said Jesus Sanchez through a translator. “We are so grateful.”
The Hallett family is a six-member household with four children between the ages of four and ten, three of whom have special needs. Unfortunately, they have experienced theft and other safety concerns in prior homes, as well as neighbors who have made them feel unwelcome because they don’t understand the needs of the children. Parents, Shellie and Justin, said they are looking forward to helping build a five-bedroom home where the children can thrive in bedrooms that offer privacy and reduced stimulation as well as a fenced backyard that will keep them safe. “We’re just so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank everyone involved,” said Shellie.
Speakers at the groundbreaking included Senator Dick Anderson, Representative David Gomberg, Lincoln County Commissioner Kaety Jacobsen, and Lincoln City Mayor Susan Wahlke. Each shared a message with the families, congratulating them on this milestone and expressing their enthusiasm and support for affordable housing in Lincoln County.
Habitat for Humanity partner families help build their own homes, alongside community volunteers and Habitat staff, and learn skills they can use later in maintaining and repairing their home. Each family is required to put in several hundred hours of “sweat equity” as they help with construction or related tasks that match their abilities. They then purchase their home through an affordable mortgage, based on their gross annual income.
These homes will create life-changing health and safety, not only for the Ambriz-Sanchez and Hallett families, but for future generations as well. HFHLC recently adopted a permanent affordability model that allows Habitat homeowners to continue building equity in their homes while also ensuring the home is affordable for the next buyer through a land-lease program where HFHLC retains ownership of the land. “We’re committed to building homes that are affordable for low-income households, not just for the first buyer, but for the life of the home,” said Lucinda Taylor, HFHLC Executive Director. “Our community has entrusted us with resources to build affordable housing and we see permanent affordability as the most prudent use of these resources.”
This build is made possible because Lincoln County donated the land and significant financial support was provided by the City of Lincoln City, an Oregon Housing and Community Services for Local Innovation Fast Track (LIFT) Grant, the Spirit Mountain Community Fund and the generosity of individual donors. Without support from the community, HFHLC would not be able to build affordable homes and provide families with a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency through shelter.
HFHLC is seeking volunteers to help build these homes. Framing will begin within a few weeks and construction is anticipated to continue through the summer of 2023. Those interested in volunteering should contact Mia Prado, Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 541.574.4437.
To provide financial support for this project, visit hfhlc.org/donate or mail your donation to HFHLC, PO Box 1311, Newport, OR 97365. HFHLC is a 501c3 charitable organization.