Habitat for Humanity celebrates 16 new Portland area homes built as it begins new project

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 6:02 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Habitat for Humanity is hard at work in the Portland area, and today they reached a milestone!

The organization is almost finished building 16 family-sized homes in Beaverton and now they’re building another set of brand-new homes in Hillsboro.

“This is where you’re able to put down roots, this is where you’re going to be, this is where you can invest in your community and become a part of your community.”

Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway and elected officials came together to secure land to build brand-new family-sized homes.

“We want to make sure that anybody who wants to live in our beloved community of Hillsboro has that opportunity,” Callaway says.

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18 new homes will sit on 3.2 acres at SE Chesney Street in Hillsboro. Mayor Callaway says it’s a possibility that becomes a reality for many families.

“To provide brand new homes for homeownership, to begin to build equity and generational wealth that is partnerships at its best,” says Callaway.

The $6.5 million dollar project is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and donations in response to the growing housing crisis.

“We see in our community people who are living on the streets,” says Steve Messinetti, CEO and President of Habitat for Humanity Portland Region. “What we don’t see is the struggle that working families are going through to afford rent.”

They also received something called “a lift grant.”

That will help bridge the difference between the cost to build homes and the cost families can afford-- income qualifications are based on family size and a salary range from $30,000 to even $70,000.

“We have now record numbers of families that are paying more than 50% of their income on rent and when you’re paying more than half your income on rent, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t leave enough for other basic life necessities,” Messinetti says. “So we structure this program to make sure their mortgage payments or less than 30% of their income.”

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Habitat for Humanity will also help families get an affordable mortgage and payment assistance.

“Another good thing about this how about this project is that it’s permanently affordable which means if a family were to sell their home the next family can also afford to move in.”

And the city looks forward to a brighter future.

“We know that housing is expensive, but we know that when people are in stable housing it really makes so many other quality of life issues fall in the line,” Callaway says.

Construction is set to begin in the next six months with the goal of finishing the project in 2025.