PORT ANGELES — Six families are working on homes being built through the Mutual Self Help Housing Program of Peninsula Housing Authority.

Ground was broken March 24 at the site at Cedarglen Terrace I on West 11th Street in Port Angeles.

The families — led by Ann Rider, Betsy Fullerton, Chaleena Simmons, Christy and Bret Niles, Francisco Gloria and Ryan Heskett and Breana Lovik — look forward to being in their new homes by late December.

Instead of a down payment, each family participating in this housing program commits to working 32 hours a week building its home and its neighbors’ homes until all six houses are complete.

They work on the homes while maintaining their regular jobs and caring for their families.

Homeowners can have friends and extended families help by contributing up to 16 of these 32 hours. The commitment lasts about a year until the homes are completed.

“Individuals in the program represent a cross section of our community: young families and families with no children as well as single-parent households,” said Melanie McCaughan, Mutual Self Help Housing coordinator. “There are health care workers, service technicians and service industry workers.

“These families all have one thing in common: they have a dream to own their own home. This dream will be achieved through hard work each and every week until all homes are finished.”

The Peninsula Housing Authority reported that the Port Angeles Association of Realtors (PAAR) provided down payment assistance to those in need, the North Olympic Builders Association (NPBA) donated construction tools and that the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) helped with for technical grant funding support.

Financial support was provided by USDA-Rural Development Technical Assistance grants, which pay for staff, equipment, and administration of the program; USDA-RD loans to homeowners to cover lot and construction costs; and Department of Housing and Urban Development Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) funds administered by Community Frameworks to purchase and develop land.

Peninsula Housing Authority has assisted in the construction of over 90 homes through the Mutual Self Help Home Building program.

The Mutual Self Help Home Building Program is accepting applications for future home builders. There are current openings for families in the next group at Cedarglen Terrace II, east of Cedarglen Terrace I on 11th Street and in Forks on Maloney Lane. Peninsula Housing Authority provides pre-purchase counseling, education, and credit repair counseling for prospective participants.

For more information, contact McCaughan at Peninsula Housing Authority, 360-452-7631 ex. *822 or email mmccaughan@peninsulapha.org.

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