Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) is an affordable housing developer serving Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter, Yuba and Colusa counties. The organization assists low-income and rural disadvantaged residents, seniors and others who lack financial resources or knowledge to secure housing according to their needs. The Paradise Rotary Foundation has recently awarded $40,000 grant for the acquisition and development of four lots to build residences for income eligible recipients.
President and CEO since February 2019, Seana O’Shaughnessy emphasized CHIP’s commitment to the rebuilding of the Ridge in the years following the Camp Fire. “We are absolutely committed to be a part of the recovery for the long term,” she said of the upcoming development in Paradise.
One of the programs offered by CHIP is the home ownership opportunity, which allows low-income households to become homeowners. The self-help program provides affordable financing packages, construction supervision, and energy-efficient homes. Part of the program is the “sweat equity” efforts put in through 3,000 hours of work on the home. The work performed counts towards the down payment on the loan, which is a hurdle for many to enter the housing market. The cooperative work of the “sweat equity” allows for recipients of the program to participate in a range of activities including framing, carpentry, painting, flooring, landscaping, and more.
Paradise, as categorized as rural area, allows for the assistance of the USDA Rural Development Department. This has made financial assistance accessible to residents seeking rebuild on the Ridge through the CHIP home ownership program. “We’re super excited to be able to take [the program] to Paradise to rebuild after the Camp Fire,” said Seana of the upcoming operations in Paradise.
The four lots have been purchased and are currently beginning site development, which is the planning stage before breaking ground. Once construction begins, most builds last 13 to 15 months before move-in. Eligible recipients will be selected according to CHIP’s Fair Housing requirements and based on the income of the household.
The $40,000 from the Paradise Rotary Foundation will assist in the affordability for the households to rebuild on the four lots. Moving towards the future, Seana remarked, “These first four homes are not the last. We’re starting with four and will continue with more”.
CHIP has received incredible feedback from past recipients of the program, who are now homeowners. The pride of ownership for CHIP recipients extends across racial ethnic backgrounds and various household status, such as single mothers or other situations.
CHIP has partnered with Rebuild Paradise and Habitat for Humanity to receive land donations from current landowners on the Ridge. If you or someone you know is interested to learn more about the donation of land, please contact Loretta Weber, Land Developer at (530) 891-6931 ext.224 or at LWeber@chiphousing.org.
You can learn more about CHIP Housing on their website: www.chiphousing.org or social media channels.
Images from a CHIP construction site in Northern Califronia. Center image is a rendering of the proposed floor plan to be build in Paradise. Images provided by CHIP.