PRINEVILLE, OR -- A new affordable housing project in Prineville is being built by the Heart of Oregon Corps, which allows young people to earn their GED or diploma while learning construction trades. Executive Director Laura Handy says this is the first time her organization is both builder and owner, "We have been building homes with Sisters Habitat. We recently completed building six homes in Madras, with a partnership with Housing Works. In the past, we’ve built some homes in Redmond, through partnerships with First Story or Habitat and we really hadn’t really built much in Prineville." The Youth Build program has built nearly 30 homes in Central Oregon, and draws young people from across the tri-county area, but Handy says Crook County participants haven't had many chances to work in their own hometown, "We are very excited to be building in Prineville. Not only because there’s a huge need and demand for more housing of all kinds, and especially affordable housing of different levels, in Prineville. But, in addition to that, we try to build homes in the communities where our young people are from."
The program will celebrate their progress with a public “wall raising ceremony” on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., at the job site on Southeast Laurel Lane. "The foundation is completed and the stem walls, and so they have started framing exterior walls," Handy tells KBND News, "Typically, ‘wall raisings’ are when you first lift up the exterior walls of the house and secure them in the perimeter around the foundation." She says it's also a chance to recognize the teams of young people who are working on construction.
The three bedroom, two bath, energy efficient 1170-square foot house should be complete in February. It's appraised at $220,000, but Handy says it will be sold to a low-income family for $165,000. That homeowner will be selected by lottery, later this year. For more information on that process click HERE. Applications are also now being accepted for the next cohort of young builders.