MADERA, Calif. (KSEE) – Three Valley families in need will be spending Thanksgiving in brand new homes thanks to a program helping low-income residents become homeowners.
“It’s a happy change for me and my family,” shared Gerardo Ambrosio Robles, who became a homeowner on Friday after living in Madera for nearly two decades.
“They’re gonna be able to make tamales in their own home,” said Santos Garcia, the Mayor of Madera, referencing the upcoming holidays.
The Robles is one of three Madera families who received keys to their new Washington Avenue and Malone Street homes on Friday morning.
“We are very excited to welcome our final three families today,” Ashley Hedemann, Interim CEO at Habitat for Humanity Greater Fresno Area. “They carry their own mortgages and they’re actually becoming homeowners.”
The City of Madera and Habitat for Humanity partnered for the project over the last two years. The city donated the land and pledged up to $300,000 in down payment assistance, or $60,000 per low-income homebuyer.
“If we can make that happen, they’re gonna be good residents and they’re gonna contribute in turn to the City of Madera,” the mayor said.
“Our partner families have to qualify for low-interest rate mortgage, and they have to put over 500 hours typically of sweat equity,” said Hedemann.
That means families invest work into actually building their new homes.
“I believe this is a really good start for these three families. There’s a lot of families that are living multiple families in one home, in apartments,” Mayor Garcia said.