Friday the 13th will be a lucky day for residents of Homes for Islanders' latest neighborhood

Friday the 13th will be a lucky day for residents of Homes for Islanders' latest neighborhood.

That's the day that Homes for Islanders and USDA Rural Development have a Key & Dedication Ceremony to formally mark the completion of Park Plaza, nine townhomes on Park and Guard streets, across from the San Juan Island Library. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Representatives of Rep. Rick Larsen's office are expected to attend. The ceremony is open to the public.

It's the third neighborhood completed by Homes for Islanders. The others: Leeward Cove and Rocky Bay. Construction of eight permanently affordable homes is expected to begin in summer at Woodland Estates, in the Rosario area of Orcas Island. And Homes for Islanders is acquiring three acres on Malcolm Street for future development of up to 44 affordable homes.

"Nine hardworking families have worked a full year on achieving their dream of owning a home by building it themselves," Homes for Islanders announced in an invitation. "Now it's time to help the Park Plaza homeowners celebrate the successful completion and to award them the keys to their new homes. At the same time, we will introduce the next eight families who will be building their homes on Orcas Island."

Homes for Islanders buys the land and helps limited-income families build their own homes, and provides assistance in obtaining low-interest loans from USDA Rural Development. No downpayment is needed. Homeowners are required to work 35 hours a week on building their homes.

Upon completion, each homeowner owns his or her home and land. The resale price is restricted; the home must be affordable to a moderate-income household, currently about $61,750 per four-person household.

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