CHIP homes

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) conducted its ground-breaking ceremony at Stonefox Ranch subdivision off Hoag Road in Corning on Tuesday. The program provides first-time homebuyers the opportunity to use sweat-equity to build and purchase a home. Pictured from left with a shovel in hand is Kim Vann, state director USDA Rural Development, homebuyers Gustavo Alonso, Fernando Jimenez, Lucio Arevalo Martinez (behind), James Lane, Debbie Beastley, Margaret Barker, Bruce Woodard, Fidel Angeles, Apiwan Thao and Yojan Reyes.

When Corning resident Margaret Barker heard about a Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) coming to town, she got very excited.

Like many others, Barker applied for one of the CHIP homes to be built in the Stonefox Ranch subdivision off Hoag Road east of Corning.

“I was so honored to be accepted,” Barker said on Tuesday during the CHIP Phase One ground-breaking ceremony at the subdivision.

Barker was joined for the ceremony by many of the 23 other homebuyers who are part of the project’s first phase.

Judy Orozco, self-help housing specialist, said in addition to phase one, the CHIP project will consist of phase two and three consisting of an additional 54 homes.

“Lot construction on phase two and three will occur over the summer and we will begin to market late 2018 or early 2019. This is very exciting for us and if you know anyone interested please have them contact us to be added to the interest list to make sure they get notification once the lots are ready,” Orozco added.

Many of the homebuyers at the ceremony said the opportunity to use sweat-equity to buy and build a home was a dream come true.

Using the mutual self-help method of construction, homebuyers work together taking an active role in helping to build each of the project’s homes. It takes anywhere from eight to 10 months to construct the homes as each participant contributes a minimum of 30 hours per week to complete all of the homes.

Each homebuyer’s construction labor becomes their down payment and CHIP helps homebuyers to find available financing.

During the ceremony Orozco recognized Kim Vann, state director for USDA-RD, Gary Wolfe, regional director for Neighborworks America, Bernie Perry of Timio’s Title and Sonia Avery of Allstate.

This self-help housing project is one of many that have taken place in Corning over the years.

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