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August 30, 2011 > Homeownership opportunities

Homeownership opportunities

Submitted By Krysta Morgenthaler, Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity East Bay

Habitat for Humanity East Bay (HEB) and the City of Hayward, in a partnership funded by California's Department of Housing and Community Development and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), are working together to help rebuild lives and neighborhoods that have been severely affected by the sub-prime mortgage crisis and property foreclosures. They are joined in this effort by community volunteers, local businesses and corporations who work together to help rebuild homes and provide opportunities for homeownership for income-qualified working families in the Hayward community.

Another home, completed as part of the NSP, was dedicated on Thursday, August 24, 2011, on Havana Avenue, Hayward. The four-member Zhong/Zeng family received the keys to their home in the company civic officials, friends, neighbors, volunteers and others who provided the hands-on work for the renovation of their home. Mayor Michael Sweeney, Council members Barbara Halliday and Mark Salinas, Hayward's Redevelopment Agency staff who administer the program and HEB President and CEO Janice Jensen were present.

The City of Hayward has received almost $3M of grant funding for this program. These funds will be used in partnership with Habitat East Bay to purchase and rehabilitate vacant and foreclosed homes to combat blight and decay and help stabilize neighborhoods. In addition to government support, local business and corporations play an important role with their in-kind support.

In addition to being the largest Habitat affiliate in Northern California, HEB is also one of the Bay Area's leading green, affordable home builders. The newly remodeled Hayward home contains a number of energy-saving features, including a new roof with rigid insulation, dual pane windows, wall insulation, low VOC paint, new lighting, new plumbing, low-flow lavatories, new flooring, drought-tolerant landscaping, water-efficient irrigation, and a 95 percent-efficient furnace.

Manli Zhong and Wenwie Zeng are excited their family can move from an over-crowded, unheated apartment to their newly renovated home in Hayward. Since the birth of their second son, their tiny, cramped apartment has felt even more crowded and unsustainable for their family. The family looks forward to living in a safe neighborhood and making friends with their new neighbors.

Volunteers are also needed in Hayward and throughout Alameda and Contra Costa County. To learn more about Habitat East Bay's work, volunteer or donate to the home-building efforts, visit or call (510) 251-6304.

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