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June 8, 2012 > Hayward homes rehabilitated

Hayward homes rehabilitated

Submitted By Jo Ann Driscoll, Photo by Jeff Goodwin, Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity East Bay (HEB) and the City of Hayward celebrated as a new Habitat family received the keys to their home on Thursday, May 31 at 27848 Havana Avenue, Hayward. The event marks the completion of the ninth property rehabilitated by Habitat for Humanity East Bay's community volunteers along with the assistance from local business, contractors and corporations with funding from the federal government's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). To strengthen neighborhoods severely affected by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, these joint efforts have helped to renovate nine abandoned and foreclosed homes in need of repair within Hayward's Palma Ceia neighborhood.

The City of Hayward and HEB received funding from California's Department of Housing and Community Development under the first phase of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Following the dedication and completion of this phase of the NSP funding, a second phase for the renovation of 11 additional homes in Hayward is underway using NSP II funding through Alameda County.

Hayward City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tempore Barbara Halliday and staff from Hayward's Department of Housing, who have been administering the program, including Assistant City Manager Kelly Moraiu and HEB President and CEO Janice Jensen attended the ceremony at which the Tirfe/Meharena family and their three children accepted the keys to their new home.

These new homeowners have completed their 250-hour sweat equity-down payment for the property. Work on the home has included the demolition of three illegal and low-quality additions created at the rear of the property by previous occupants. The property's garage had also been illegally converted and has now been renovated and restored to its intended purpose. Due to deferred maintenance, many repairs were needed on the home. The house now has a new roof; new plumbing and sewer line to the street; new fencing and landscaping; new kitchen counters, cabinets and flooring; energy efficient appliances, new water heater, new furnace and ducting; and new windows.

The government and non-profit partners have chosen to work in the Palma Ceia neighborhood to make an impact in an area that has been affected by the foreclosure crisis. HEB's efforts to purchase vacant and bank-owned homes, and subsequent rehabilitation, aims to help to stabilize this neighborhood. Most of the nine homes have been In the Palma Ceia neighborhood within a two-block radius from the Havana Avenue property. Habitat will start work on another property in this neighborhood in June 2012 and anticipates purchasing yet another by the end of summer.

Habitat East Bay is one of the Bay Area's leading green affordable home builders. In addition to its work in Hayward, it is currently working on homes in Antioch, Bay Point and Oakland. HEB is active in other locations throughout the East Bay with more than 55 homes slated for construction or renovation.

Praised for its success in creating home ownership opportunities for families with limited incomes, HEB is the largest Habitat affiliate in Northern California. It has been creating sustainable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods for over 24 years, serving more than 350 families throughout Alameda and Contra Costa County.

Volunteers and homeowner applicants are needed. To learn more about Habitat East Bay or donate to the home building efforts, visit www.HabitatEB.org or call (510) 251-6304.

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