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$570,000 grant for Homes for Islanders' next projects

Affordable housing group Homes for Islanders has received its third Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant — $570,777 — from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

The grant funds staff and office operations for a period of two years. During that period, Homes for Islanders will provide on-site supervision and project management for 16 families building their homes through the sweat-equity program.

The grant will also provide for office staff to package mortgage loan applications for interested families and for all program and project-related bookkeeping, including tracking each family’s construction expenses throughout the duration of the homebuilding process.

The 16 homes that will be built in association with this grant will be in Eastsound (six homes) and in Friday Harbor (10 homes).

Homes for Islanders expects to start construction on North Beach Gardens — on the corner of North Beach Road and Shady Lane in Eastsound — later this summer. Construction on Heritage Place — on Malcom Street, across from Friday Harbor Elementary School — will begin in summer 2010.

Those interested in applying for homes in either of these communities should contact Homes for Islanders: call 370-5944, e-mail info@homesforislanders.org, or visit 640 Mullis Street, Suite 102b (on the corner of Mullis and Market streets, across from Whidbey Island Bank).

Homes for Islanders’ has built 33 homes in four neighborhoods: Leeward Cove, Rocky Bay and Park Plaza on San Juan Island, and Woodland Estates on Orcas Island.

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