“What are you building here?” asked Ty Tippetts, Executive Director for the Color Country Community Housing program in Mesquite during a celebration ceremony to welcome new home owners to the project in Sunrise meadows. “Some would say the hammers and nails build new houses but what we are building here is a community. Studies have shown that home ownership has many social benefits as well as financial benefits. Children get better education, stay in school, make more money when they graduate, are more likely to vote and are healthier and happier. All of those things are possible with home ownership and that is the journey you are starting today.”
Tippetts was describing the federal program designed to build homes for low income families. Families who qualify for the program must build their homes themselves through “sweat equity” with the help of other families participating in the plan under the guidance of a construction supervisor. The trained construction supervisor will teach building skills, budget management, purchasing building materials, coordinating schedules and working with subcontractors.
“I love this program,” said Mayor Mark Wier. “As a homeowner myself, I know this program instills pride in a community. Mesquite is proud to have this community as part of our city.”
Tammye Trevino, USDA National Rural Housing Administrator, thanked the mayor and the city leaders for their support on this project. “We are so happy with the way Color Country has been accepted in Mesquite. Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
A crowd of well wishers attended the Color Country Housing Celebration and cheered six new families who took their places
at the “golden shovels” to symbolically turn a shovelful of dirt to signify the start of their new project.
Six new houses will be built during the start of the next phase.
Interested persons could tour the houses that have been completed and talk with staff members about the application process to qualify.
Sarah Adler, USDA Rural Development State Director said Color Country teaches other things beside building skills. “It teaches commitment, appreciation of family, partnership and consideration of neighbors,” she said.
Ken Maynard, one of the home builders accepted into the last construction phase, said his home is just about finished. “This is a great program and it really gives people a chance own something of their own. The added benefit is that the community works together to help each other. I was working on my landscaping in the front yard yesterday when my five year old neighbor, Emilio Casias, came over and asked if he could help me. I gave him a shovel to turn some dirt but he was too little. We worked together for a while and I gave him five dollars for helping me. The next day he had his mother take him to Ace Hardware and he bought a little shovel with the five dollars. Then he came back and told me now he could really help. That's what this program is all about.”
For further information on Color Country Community Housing, visit www.ccchi.net, or call 435-673-3131. They can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Color Country is dedicated to elevating the quality of life for individuals and families, by developing rural, affordable housing opportunities, fostering community partnership, cooperation, education and improving the affordable housing needs of individual communities.