15 households sought to earn sweat equity

Fifteen local households with low or moderate incomes can earn a down-payment by building their own homes through Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation's Mutual Self-Help Housing program.

Rogue Valley CDC is now recruiting two groups of participants for the upcoming Mutual Self-Help development to be built at Rice Park in Verde Village, Ashland, during 2009 and 2010.

A public information meeting and recruitment event is scheduled Saturday morning, Nov. 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Ashland Library.

Potential homebuilders and interested community members can view designs and plans, ask questions, and pick up applications on Saturday. Recruitment meetings will be held monthly until the program is full.

No construction experience is required. Each group of mutual self-help neighbors spend about a year building their homes together, with the assistance of the CDC, completing 65 percent (32 hours per week per household) of the work themselves.

"One of the things we've all learned — that we all know, is that we can do anything," said Eric Stahlman, a new homeowner speaking to his building group at the ribbon cutting for the six-home Terrace Court subdivision, completed in October. "We built our homes with each other, with our own hands. I mean, now we can do anything, there's nothing we can't do ... this is really building community."

In addition to Mutual Self-Help Housing, Rogue Valley CDC offers a financial literacy matched savings program, Dream$avers, which adds $3 to every $1 participants save toward homeownership or education. Rogue Valley CDC is also a partner in Rogue Valley Youthbuild, with The Job Council and Rogue Community College.

Youth from 16 to 24 who have dropped out of school get a second chance to complete their educations while learning construction and work skills and vesting in their community by helping build affordable housing.

This will be Rogue Valley CDC's third Mutual Self-Help Housing development in Ashland. For more information contact Roxana at 734-2355, or visit the website: www.roguevalleycdc.org. Se habla Español.

Rogue Valley CDC is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to strengthening the economic positions of low- and moderate-income residents of Jackson County.

It supports personal asset building, encourage regional economic growth and provide access to homeownership opportunities.

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