CAN-DO COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS BUILD CONDOS.
GLENDALE - Sawdust drifted across a rooftop Friday as Maria De La Rosa worked below with a shovel, digging out the foundation of what will be her home.
In a year's time, De La Rosa will move her five children - two boys and three girls - into the newly built condominium on Gardena Avenue.
``We feel that this is a blessing for us,'' the Glendale woman said as she inspected a blister forming on her hand. ``Imagine: The boys will have their own room, the girls will have their room, and there won't be as many arguments for the bathrooms.''
Since January, De La Rosa has watched and participated as volunteers from the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity have worked on a $557,000 three-unit, two-story condominium complex, where she and her family will live.
On Friday, city of Glendale employees joined in. As neighbors watched, firefighters volunteered their muscles and time by sawing two-by-fours and raising walls on the second floor of the first unit.
``This is a great opportunity to do something as a city together, and to do something that is different,'' said Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird. ``Some of us consider ourselves to be pretty handy, and this is a good way to pick up a hammer, and spend the day burning up some energy.''
The building marks the third such collaborative effort between San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and Glendale's Housing Authority.
Both agencies have worked with the city on two prior projects, the second one completed last January.
Two more projects are slated to begin in the next three months, officials said.
The sudden boom in affordable housing construction has much to do with Glendale's vacancy rates, which hover around 1.5 to 2 percent. Rent averages $791 for a one-bedroom apartment, and $1,155 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Homes remain out of reach for many Glendale residents. The median price of a condominium is $173,000 and the median price of a single family home is $365,000.
Habitat for Humanity fielded 1,000 potential buyers for the Gardena Avenue condominiums. Of those, 114 applications were submitted, said Alan Dugan, executive director for the group. Of those, three families were chosen for the Gardena complex.
To qualify, a family of four cannot earn more than $44,100 and must undergo a credit check.
Since January, about 10 volunteers from local companies have pitched in to help, with about 30 people coming in on the weekends.
The unit is now 20 percent complete.
(1) Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird lends a hand Friday at the Habitat for Humanity site on Gardena Avenue.
(2) Future homeowner Maria De La Rosa helps dig trenches at the condominium complex where she will live. ``We feel that this is a blessing for us,'' the Glendale woman said.
Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2003|
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