Housing program gets buyers involved in the building process
November 9, 2009
Byline: Melvin Beal
Wimauma, Florida - A new kind of community is being developed in Wimauma, where first time home buyers actually help build their own homes.
Tampa, Florida -- A new kind of community is being developed in Wimauma, where first time home buyers actually help build their own homes.
Florida Home Partnership is a non-profit home builder that offers affordable housing to first time home buyers with low to moderate income.
"They all close their loans and start construction at the same time, when all of the homeowners are finished they all move into their homes as a group." said Earl Pfeiffer, Florida Home.
The mutual self-help housing program models itself after a Quakers concept in which neighbors help neighbors build their homes. Each home buyer is required to work 600 hours of what's call "sweat equity" toward the construction of not only their homes but their neighbors as well.
"You're putting your sweat into it, so it's that much more of yours and something where your heart is more into it, because it's for you," said new homeowner Veronica Mendez.
Last week, six families who started the program together also finished together, receiving the keys to their new homes.
"I'm extremely happy to be in my new home, and glad this program exists for people like us," said Lillian Degel.
SWIFTMUD partnered with the developer to certify these homes as part of the Florida water star gold program meaning each home is water efficient with energy star appliances.
"It was a very easy thing to do; it was a matter of changing out some aerators on the sinks, and putting in low flow shower heads and the dual flush toilets," said Eileen Burke of Florida Home Partnership.
The hidden creek community expects to have more than 141 homes, all built by their friends and neighbors.
For more information on the Florida Home Partnership program, you can visit them at www.flhome.org.