Currently in the process of framing, two affordable joint housing units on the corner of Navarro Avenue and Howard Street intended for low-income families are expected to be completed by the end of September, Bryan Wong, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel Valley (SGV) said.
The construction of the two units began in February just a few months after the City Council approved the sale of the 6,590 square foot lot to Habitat for Humanity.
The condemned corner of Navarro Avenue and Howard Street had been problematic for years. It formerly was the site of a liquor store which reportedly burned down three times. The site was then turned into a community garden which “sizzled away,” Luis Jimenez, site supervisor of the project said.
Jimenez said members of the community seemed “very grateful” seeing the ongoing construction.
Scheduled builds are taking place to complete the project. According to Jimenez, men and women 18 years old and above are welcome to volunteer to help in the construction.
Everyone is welcome to volunteer even if they do not have any experience in construction, Jimenez said.
“What we do is we teach, educate and lead so that they feel that they can come and work. You do not need to have any experience but we will teach you and oversee the production of anybody that comes to the site,” Jimenez said about volunteering.
Volunteers can sign up through: https://sgvhabitat.org
A ‘women’s build’ was held at the site on May 6 and 7. A total of 40 officers and employees of East West Bank, the title sponsor of Habitat’s Women Build, volunteered and helped nail up plywood walls.
Thirty-six of the volunteers were women, including East West Bank General Counsel Lisa Kim, and four were men, including East West Bank Head of Commercial Real Estate Banking Robert Lo, who also leads their affordable housing practice helped the building efforts on Saturday.
“We understand how lack of access to affordable housing disproportionately affects women and are committed to helping change that narrative,” said Janie Beaman, Senior Manager Communications and Marketing of East West Bank.
Councilmember Tyron Hampton also joined the build.
“I hammered in at least a couple hundred nails, so it was amazing,” Hampton said. “It was really cool to be a part of it outside of creating policies and getting the city and the housing department to work with the Habitat for Humanity to produce this.”
According to Hampton, Pasadena residents will own the homes.
“So far, two Pasadena families have been picked to be the owners of these homes. So definitely super excited about that.”
Habitat for Humanity SGV has yet to confirm the news.
To qualify as a homeowner of a Habitat housing unit, one must be a first time-time homebuyer.
Applicants must demonstrate a need for housing and an ability to pay for the home.They must also be willing to invest “sweat equity hours” building their future Habitat home and the homes of other Habitat homebuyers.
Once completed, the two housing units in the corner of Howard and Navarro will be Habitat for Humanity SGV’s 15th housing project and the 4th housing project in Pasadena.
The first project it did was Maple Homes, which was built in 1991. The home, according to the nonprofit, provided a family of four who once lived in a one-bedroom home that had been damaged in the Northridge earthquake an opportunity for a fresh start.