‘Sweat equity’ to earn new condos

Ground will break on 36 new low-income condos in June, nearly four years after plans to build the homes were presented to Daly City by Habitat for Humanity.

The project, which will break ground June 3, is located at 7555 Mission St. It will consist of 36 condos and be open to low-income families, but future owners will not be able to just sign up and hope they get chosen, they will have to work for it, said Habitat for Humanity spokeswoman Jennifer Doettling.

“Ninety percent of all of our projects are constructed from volunteers,” Doettling said. “Instead of a down payment, future homeowners have to give 500 hours of sweat equity.”

That sweat equity, Doettling said, can be paid to the project during the next two years — the amount of time it is expected to build the condos.

Homeowners are not required to have specialized skills, either. As a matter of fact, most volunteers are unskilled and trained that day to paint walls or cut wood, Doettling said.

Future owners have not been chosen for the condos yet, but Doettling said Habitat for Humanity considers income, job stability and the ability to partner with the organization during construction, among other criteria from applicants.

The 7555 Mission St. project is not the first on the Peninsula for the nonprofit, which has a goal to partner with families and communities to build affordable homes. Doettling said the organization has homes in Menlo Park, Daly City, East Palo Alto, San Francisco and now parts of Marin County.

The project sits on 0.67 acres that were once occupied by Hertz car rental. Before the groundbreaking can begin, abatement of asbestos and lead from the property must be done, according to Daly City documents.

The project consists of three connected buildings with 34 three- and two two-bedroom condos as well as a 13,000-square-foot front yard. The disabled-adaptable condominiums will be built atop a 57-spot garage and will have solar panels on the roof.

The subsidized condos will be offered to low- and very-low-income families for $195,000 to $300,000. They will receive a zero-interest-rate mortgage and be able to sell their house back to Peninsula Habitat for Humanity.

Homeowners chosen for one of the 36 condos will also be given extensive financial management training, Doettling said.

“We want our families to succeed,” she said. “We give them the tools necessary to help with home ownership.”

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