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Addressing the Verde Valley Housing Crisis

In response to a growing need for affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity opened its doors to the Verde Valley community in 1995. Committed to “building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter,” the organization offers affordable housing to first-time homebuyers who need a little assistance in finding a place to call home.

When Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity works with a family in need, they don’t just give them a place to live, they empower them to achieve financial stability. Families who seek a home through Habitat for Humanity provide a small down payment on the house. Then, they pay for the rest by committing to more than 300 hours of work on the house and making low-interest mortgage payments.

For decades, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity built one house per year in the Verde Valley community. In 2017, after seeing the need for affordable workplace housing grow exponentially, they increased to build four houses every year.

Part of that commitment to growth is the Peach Lane Project in Sedona. The project offers two-bedroom, two-bathroom homes to first-time homebuyers who work in the community and need assistance securing funding. In order to ensure that residents achieve financial independence, Habitat for Humanity provides educational training on homeownership, financial management and even best practices for being a good neighbor.

“We’ve built 14 homes since we started,” said Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Tania Simms. “We know we can’t solve the entire problem, but we are helping build sustainable communities through this program.”

The potential for growth is seemingly unending — Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity has nine additional properties available for development in the area. The organization continues to seek donations of goods, services, land and volunteer time to support the need for local affordable housing development. FBN

By Ron Capalongan

Ron Capalongan is the Branch Manager of OneAZ Credit Union’s Sedona and Cottonwood branches. OneAZ is a local not-for-profit credit union serving over 140,000 members across Arizona. The credit union partnered with Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity to provide financing for Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Peach Lane Project in Sedona.

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