change, when Habitat for Humanity makes its selections for who will
buy its first Morgan Hill homes.
The lives of six low-income families in Morgan Hill will soon change, when Habitat for Humanity makes its selections for who will buy its first Morgan Hill homes.
Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity Interim Executive Director Jennifer Simmons said there are about 15 families in the final running, of more than 100 original applicants. Habitat officials will make the final decision by the end of February, she said. The six homes will be built on Cory Drive off San Pedro Avenue. Simmons said they hope to have a groundbreaking ceremony in the spring.
Simmons said overcrowding is a common theme in Santa Clara County applicant’s current living situations.
Six families will be chosen for the six homes, which will sell for an average of $200,000. The families will buy the homes from Habitat with no interest. Because families buy directly from Habitat, they must first endure a strenuous application process. First, trained volunteers review the applications, then a group of three Habitat volunteers visit the homes on two separate occasions. Right now, Habitat volunteers are finishing the last of the home visits, Simmons said. After that, a panel will interview each family. Following this, staff will make recommendations to the Family Selection Committee which will make its recommendation to the Board of Directors. This last leg of the process should be completed in the next month, Simmons said. She expects the board to make its final approval at its Feb. 24 meeting.
“The way we look at home ownership is that we don’t just sell the home to the family and walk away,” she said. “It’s really a 30-year partnership.”
In December, the Morgan Hill City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency Board, approved Habitat’s request for upping the city’s loan from $560,000 to $760,000 to include green building design elements and to include additional expenses related to the city’s design requests, said Business Assistance and Housing Services Senior Project Manager Erwin Ordonez. He said Habitat received a loan from the city in 2005 to acquire the property. In February 2008, the Morgan Hill Planning Commission approved the final designs, which include one two-bedroom home, four three-bedroom homes and one four-bedroom home.
“Being able to be a part of this neighborhood and community would be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Elaine Hays, whose family of seven is in the running for the four-bedroom home. The family now lives in a four bedroom apartment. Having a home, with a backyard, washer and dryer and garage would make a huge difference in their life, she said.