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Neighborhood Heroes: Americorps helps with the construction of Coachella Valley homes

Several AmeriCorps members are in the Coachella Valley helping the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) build affordable homes.

These members arrived in early February and are expected to stick around to help until April 1.

They are working 40 hours a week with homebuilders to help assist with building affordable homes.

The members on Friday were working on a home in Desert Hot Springs but will bounce around to help ten families with their homes.

The homes are being built through the Self Help Housing Program where families participating use their labor to help build the house as a down payment to own it.

So far the AmeriCorps members have gone around to each home working on framing, roofing, painting, and eventually landscaping.

“It’s making a small dent in the affordable housing crisis in the valley," explained Pedro S. G. Rodriguez, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition's Executive Director. "The families that we’re helping out will not be able to get a regular house in the open market.”

Over the years AmeriCorps has always sent members to help the CVHC, but this year the help really goes a long way because of the pandemic.

Rodriguez said many families weren't able to help put in their required hours of labor into the home because of the coronavirus. Having these extra sets of hands, the help goes a long way to get them back on track.

“I think it’s especially relevant right now you know with covid and everything," said Stevie Bianco, an AmeriCorps volunteer. "I think a lot of people lost their jobs and you know affordable housing became such an important issue for so many people.”

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a news reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.


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