Sacramento Promise Zone
Highlight #025, April 2017
April 2017 by Katie Smet, Sustainably Built Communities VISTA
Since the Welcome Home Program was launched in 2016, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) has welcomed 13 first-time homebuyers into newly remodeled homes in the City and County of Sacramento. The Welcome Home Program is a unique idea to revitalize single-family vacant houses into remodeled, energy-efficient homes for eligible low-income homebuyers who are buying a home for the first time. The program focuses on revitalizing struggling communities by reducing the number of vacant boarded-up homes and increasing homeownership opportunities.
In 2015, SHRA obtained 76 homes for the program, including 22 homes that are located inside the Sacramento Promise Zone. Over the next five years, these homes will be rehabbed and sold with brand new amenities and appliances, such as dishwashers, washer/dryer hook-ups, new interior and exterior paint, windows, floor coverings, and HVAC systems, as well as drought-resistant landscaping. The renovations benefit homeowners by reducing home repair costs during the first few years of homeownership. In addition, the program not only creates affordable homeownership opportunities, but also job opportunities for the construction needed to renovate the deteriorated homes.
Of the 22 homes in the Sacramento Promise Zone, seven of the homes have already been rehabbed and sold. Oliver Romo is a first-time homebuyer living inside the Sacramento Promise Zone who benefited from the Welcome Home Program. Romo, who works full-time in the restaurant industry while balancing school, originally thought he could not afford to purchase a home. Romo planned to rent until his father encouraged him to look into purchasing a home to avoid the increased rent prices in Sacramento’s downtown neighborhoods. Romo credits the Welcome Home Program for creating an affordable option for him to obtain a home and achieve stability while he works toward achieving his goals.
To learn more about the Welcome Home Program, visit http://www.shra.org/Housing/HomesforSale/WelcomeHomeProgram.aspx
aspx. If you are interested in hearing more about Oliver Romo’s story and other first-time homebuyers’ stories, please visit www.youtube.com/user/angelajonesshra