Habitat for Humanity raising money to build 5 homes | TheUnion.com

Habitat for Humanity raising money to build 5 homes

Nevada County’s Habitat for Humanity will build five entry-level houses in downtown Grass Valley this fall.

The North Church Street Project – named after the location of the future homes off North Church Street, north of Richardson Street – is the latest Nevada County housing development by the international nonprofit Christian organization.

The project will allow lower-income families a chance to become homeowners and improve the quality of life in the North Church Street neighborhood, said Mary Margaretich, fund-raising coordinator for the group.

“The pride of home ownership gives families a vested interest in the community by improving its appearance and safety,” said Margaretich, who is also a Realtor in Grass Valley.

The new homes will have three or four bedrooms each and will be constructed completely by local volunteers, contractors, and the homes’ future owners. Money to purchase the land and build the homes comes from a variety of local and national donations and grants, Margaretich said.

In addition, the group’s volunteers will restore a two-bedroom house already on the lot and use the funds earned from its open market sale toward the construction of the North Church Street Project.

Current North Church Street residents have mixed feelings about the project. Some are concerned that adding six new homes on the street will increase traffic on the narrow drive, but others are eager to welcome more homeowners to the neighborhood.

“Home ownership is where it’s at in this town. It’d be neat if more of the renters in this area would buy their homes, too,” said Russ McMeans, who has owned his North Church street home for five years.

Habitat for Humanity began negotiations for the North Church Street lot in October 2003 and has since acquired all of the necessary permits and approval from the Grass Valley City Council needed to begin building. The only obstacle facing the group is a shortage of money, Margaretich said.

However, the group has several fund-raising events planned and is confident it will have the necessary amount of money to begin construction this fall.

“We have an overriding commitment to provide decent and affordable living for members of this community,” Jim Dierberger, president of the Nevada County Habitat for Humanity affiliate, said.

“When we’re finished, five families in our community will no longer be living in substandard conditions.”

Helping Habitat

Upcoming local Habitat for Humanity fund-raising events:

– Friday night Grass Valley street fairs in July and August, featuring donation booth and raffle.

– July 24 – Flea Market at 855 Sutton Way. Contact Mary Margaretich at 274-1951 for more information.

– Oct. 2 – Golf tournament and silent auction at Alta Sierra Country Club.

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