Volunteers sought to help construct affordable housing | NevadaAppeal.com

Volunteers sought to help construct affordable housing

Becky Bosshart

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Annette Gatlin, right, and her neighbor Lisa Kramer work on a door installation in Gatlin's self-help-built Dayton home Wednesday night. Kramer and Gatlin are both building homes as part of the Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc. program.

Annette Gatlin, 37, is building her own home and she isn’t deterred by the weather.

Gatlin just wears warm clothing for weeks like this, when the rain turns soft dirt into rivers of mud, and she can see her breath in the cool October air.

“We have to get it done,” she said about constructing her four-bedroom, two-bath Dayton home. “There is a timeline involved and that’s why the volunteers are going to be so beneficial, especially coming into the cold season.”

Gatlin is building her first home through the Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc. program. The nonprofit housing development organization is Nevada’s leading builder of self-help homes. That means the Gatlin family is out after school and work making their dreams of home ownership a reality. But the volunteers she mentioned are also an important part of the process.

Citizens for Affordable Homes is requesting volunteers to meet at the Dayton development job site Saturday and Sunday to help construct homes for the families.

Rosa Garza, credit counselor specialist for CAHI, said so far a group of 30 people from Wells Fargo Bank are committed to the volunteer weekend.

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“We expect this to be a big event,” she said. “On Oct. 23 to 24 we have over 150 volunteers coming to assist in building 28 homes in Dayton.”

Families chosen to participate in the program receive a direct loan from the USDA Rural Development to pay the mortgage. Of the 28 houses, six are almost completed and one will have its ground breaking.

Garza said a family must meet low-income guidelines. A family of four cannot exceed a $44,200 yearly income. Each family must put 35 hours a week into constructing its home. The family must contribute 65 percent of the labor. She said this isn’t a give-away program. The head of the house must also attend credit counseling classes.

CAHI provides on-site supervisors to assist in the construction from start to finish.

Garza said the average price of one of their homes is $130,000, which comes out to a monthly $700 mortgage payment for about 30 years. She said although it costs $130,000 to construct a home, when they’re done it’s worth much more. Houses in Gardnerville were built for $90,000 but are now worth about $250,000. She said the families don’t think of selling because they helped build the home.

“We hope the first group gets in their houses by Christmas time,” Garza said.

Gatlin plans to move into her 1,350-square-foot home by Nov. 30.

“This has worked to be a great learning process for my children as well as myself,” she said.

All of their names: Ashley, 18; Andy, 16; Rachael, 13; and Gatlin’s boyfriend, Phil Anthef, are written into the garage’s cement floor, which they poured themselves.

“I’m very excited to move into the first home I’ve ever owned,” Gatlin said. “This will be the first time my children will have their own rooms.”

YOU CAN HELP

What: Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc. builds homes

When: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday

Lunch will be provided. Bring a basic tool kit and wear proper clothing

Where: Take Highway 50 East to Smith’s supermarket. Turn left on Retail Road onto Kate Peak Road. Meet at the entrance to the subdivision

Information: Call 883-7101

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.