Featured Profile: Walnut Place Subdivision

Provider: Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning  Association, Inc.

Walnut Place Subdivision Mercy Loan Fund

Location: Greenfield, California

Property Type: Single Family Homes

Description: The majority of Mercy Loan Fund’s loans are made to nonprofit developers for affordable rental housing; however, Mercy Loan Fund also lends for projects that offer affordable homeownership opportunities. One program in particular, Mutual Self-Help Housing, makes homes affordable by enabling future homeowners to build their homes themselves. With this investment of labor in the construction of the home, the homeowner pays less. Low income families provide 65 to 75 percent of the labor while acquiring financial, construction and organization skills necessary to build their first home.

Mercy Loan Fund has made two loans to Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc. (CHISPA) for Self-Help Housing developments including Walnut Place Subdivision in Greenfield, California. Jose and Domitila Martinez participated in CHISPA’s Self-Help Program working 40 hours per week in the group construction process. Mr. Martinez is employed in agriculture and at the time of application, the family was at 43 percent of the area median income for Monterey County.

Due to the high cost of living in Monterey County, the dream of owning their own home would not have become a reality for the Martinez family without the Self-Help Program. Mrs. Martinez says that she felt that the long hours and hard work were well rewarded because she knew that they were working towards something that would belong to their family. The Martinez children were very excited to move into their own home and began packing for the move well before the completion date. The Martinez family feels grateful and fortunate to have been given the opportunity of affordable homeownership.