The motto of “Helping People Help Themselves,” is soon coming to Corning through the implementation of a Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) development at Stonefox Ranch subdivision off east Solano Street.
Gary Bergen of Red Bluff and previous owner of phase one of the subdivision, said he sold 23 of the development’s 26 lots to CHIP. Bergen had built three custom homes at the site previous to selling to CHIP. Two of the custom homes are occupied and the third is still for sale.
John Stoufer, Corning’s contracted planning director, said the deal is a plus for the community.
“CHIP is a great program, and the development will help the city to meet some of the state’s housing laws and requirements,” he added.
CHIP is now accepting applications for the Stonefox Ranch “mutual self-help homes” development. The program said it features affordable monthly mortgage payments, help building the home, now down payment and offers 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom models with a two car garage.
To be eligible, applicants must have good credit, and next exceed low income limits of $47,900 for household size of one to four people, or $63,250 for household of five to eight people.
Bergen said he had a hard time selling custom built homes in the $250,000 range in Corning and when the opportunity to sell the property to CHIP came along he couldn’t pass it up.
“I have put a lot of money into this development,” he added. “I’ve made a lot of improvements, such as the streets, curbs and gutters, electricity, water and sewer lines to this phase of the subdivision.”
Previous to Bergen purchasing the property, the land had been in foreclosure.
“If not for me and millions I’ve put into this, it would still be an undeveloped mess,” he said.
During Bergen’s development process with the city, he established Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC and Rs) for the residential subdivision.
“Those CC and Rs remain in place under the CHIP development,” he said. “That should really make a difference on the quality of the subdivision.”
The development is zoned single family residential, Stoufer said.
“CHIP really pushes pride of ownership,” he added. “I expect this to be a good quality subdivision with homes that will compliment the ones that are already here.”
The current project is one of three phases for Stonefox Ranch. Bergen still owns the acreage within the other two phases.
“What I do with those phases will depend on what the real estate market brings,” he said.
Residential self-help housing isn’t new to Corning. There have been at least three developments in the city through the Self Help Housing Improvement Project program.
For more information concerning the CHIP project, call 891-6931 or 888-912-4663, or go online to www.chiphousing.org.