Three townhouses are taking shape on Blake Lane in Scotts Valley, where Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer workers have put in more than 5,000 hours of work since construction began in October.
According to Resource Development Director Beth Bowman, the project — set for completion in early 2013 — will provide each of three local families with a 1,300-square-foot townhouse with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
“We’re working on it three days a week,” Bowman said. “It’s all framed and (workers are) just about done with all the plywood.”
In keeping with Habitat for Humanity rules, each family is required to contribute 500 hours of work time — called “sweat equity” — in the construction of its home, which will be purchased for the cost of the materials and permits with a zero-interest mortgage.
“We sell them for what it cost to build,” Bowman said, noting that the cost of building each home was about $330,000.
For comparison, Bowman said Habitat for Humanity built a house last year on Frederick Street in Santa Cruz with the same dimensions as the Blake Lane homes for a cost of about $275,000. Two identical homes sold for an average of $610,000.
She said that since foundations were poured in October, 17 groups of volunteers — from sororities to computer company employees — had worked on the homes, along with a core group of 22 regular volunteers and the three families.
Bowman estimated that each home would require about 6,000 hours of work to complete and that based on that estimate, the job was almost one-third finished.
In addition to the Blake Lane project, Bowman said Habitat for Humanity planned to open a secondhand home-improvement store in Santa Cruz, named ReStore, on Aug. 18.
The store will be at 719 Swift St., according to Bowman, and will sell donated tools, building supplies, appliances and furniture using a business model similar to how Goodwill stores operate.
Those who have materials to donate can drop them off at the store between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays or arrange for pickup by calling 824-4704.
For information: www.habitatsc.org/
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