Volunteers, families build affordable housing together

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Several Brooklyn low-income families are putting in the sweat equity with volunteers to build houses of their own.

Nine condos are being built on Halsey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant by the families and volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and Brooklyn Lutheran congregations.

Rather than making down payments, future residents give their time and work with the volunteers as the condos are built. To be eligible for the program, the future homeowners had to make 50 percent to 80 percent of the area?s median income. They will make monthly mortgage payments after they move in.

?We consider the work of their hands to be just as valuable as any cash they could bring to the table,? says Christine Lee of Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteers raised more than $13,000 to build the units. The homes are slated to be completed by September.

Catalina Mora, a worker and future resident, said she feels a sense of pride from being involved in the project.

?I feel like we are special because you have an opportunity to work on your own house,? says Mora.

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