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HABITAT TO BUILD THREE HOMES.

Byline: Daily News

PALMDALE - A meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday for volunteers interesting in building three houses planned in Palmdale by Habitat for Humanity.

Orientation sessions are held the third Tuesday of each month at Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th St. West. These meetings are for anyone interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a Habitat work site, or working with the Habitat families.

``It's a lot of fun and people really get involved with their neighborhood,'' said Terry Lei Robertson, chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization. ``Ninety percent of our volunteers are unskilled, have never been on a construction site.

``As long as they are willing to learn and follow directions, they are the ones that build the home. We have skilled people that will guide them and lead them.''

To work on the homes, volunteers must be at least 16, although there will be some painting and landscaping work available for 14- and 15- year-olds as the houses near completion.

Those interested in applying for a Habitat house also should attend one of the sessions. Plans call for three homes to be built in Palmdale's Focus Neighborhood No. 3, bordered by Division Street, Fifth Street East, Avenue Q-3 and Palmdale Boulevard.

With impounds, taxes and insurance, the average cost of the mortgage will be about $500 a month. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses will average 1,200 square feet.

Applicants for houses must be legal residents who can verify that they have paid their taxes and qualify as low-income. They also must have a verifiable and sustainable income and be willing to put in 500 hours of ``sweat equity,'' working on their home or the home of another family.

``Habitat's homeownership program is a hand up, not a handout,'' Robertson said. ``This successful program allows hard-working families the chance to live in simple, decent homes. Children can thrive in a safe and secure environment, parents can become vested in their community, and the community gets to dramatically change the lives of their neighbors in need.''

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita/Antelope Valleys is an affiliate of Americus, Ga.-based Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit housing program that seeks to eliminate homelessness and poverty housing.

In its first 25 years, Habitat has built more than 100,000 homes worldwide, making Habitat this country's 15th-largest home builder. Habitat's goal is to build its next 100,000 homes in five years.

Robertson said Habitat also hopes to build homes in Littlerock and other areas of the Antelope Valley.

``We've talked to the city of Lancaster and they're looking at how they can work with us,'' said Robertson. ``We're looking for the Antelope Valley to be a really long-term relationship.''

HOW TO HELP

Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families in need, using volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials. For more information about volunteering, home applications or donations, call (818) 897-0940. Tax-deductible contributions can be made at any Washington Mutual office in the Antelope Valley.

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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 16, 2001
Words:516
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