I was recently invited to a local community meeting for Habitat for Humanity by Fred Arnold. Fred Arnold is the host of the Santa Clarita Business hour on our local hometown station KHTS 1220 A.M. as well as owner of American Family Funding. I guest host every other week with Fred on the show. We met with Jack Shine President of the Board and Donna Deutchman the Executive Director/CEO, and staff member Joyce Grair of the local Habitat For Humanity which encompasses the San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley.
Other business leaders in attendance were Tracy Hauser of REMAX, Russell Myers of REM Architects, Laura Langen of Southland Title, Richard Galway of Magna Realty, Frank D. Di Tomaso of Santa Clarita Bank, Kathy Smith of KHTS 1220 A.M. and Neel Schmitt local community advocate.
The purpose of our gathering that afternoon was to develop the core group of local business leaders to begin the process of pulling together the local resources to get the committees and goals of the Santa Clarita Habitat for Humanity off the ground. Those names listed above, myself included, make up the SCV Advisory Committee for the Santa Clarita Valley.
We were presented with some interesting local statistics regarding the Santa Clarita California market.
- 3.16 Vacancy rate which leaves few options for those seeking housing alternatives
- 27% of Santa Clarita's population is made of renters
- More than 16% of the households in the city of Santa Clarita earn less than $30,000 per year.
- The median rent is $943.00 which most often represents more than 50% of net earnings for these families.
- Many of Santa Clarita's working poor are living in overcrowded apartments garages and worse.
- The goal for the SCV is to build 5-10 homes per year in selected areas.
For those of you who are unaware of what Habitat of Humanity does . The overall goal is not to provide a hand out , but to provide a hand up to selected families who qualify and are active participants in the building of their home to own.
Habitat families are selected based on the following criteria:
- They must be "Working poor" 50% of the average income for the region.
- A family must contribute a minimum of 500 hours in "Sweat Equity"
- They must agree to pay a mortgage at (0) interest for up to 30 Years
- They must also agree to "resale restrictions"
In summary, this was the first preliminary meeting towards getting these committees formed. If you would like to participate in any way or have a specific expertise or knowledge that you feel can be of use to this cause, please contact the local Habitat for Humanity here in the Santa Clarita/San Fernando office at (818) 884-8808. Or go to the national Habitat for Humanity website for the nearest location near you.
I will be updating you in the immediate future of the developments regarding the Santa Clarita Habitat for Humanity in Santa Clarita California. Stay tuned....
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