Sweat equity helps build 8 homes in PO ‘community’

For 49 years, low-income families and individuals have been building affordable houses in Kitsap and Mason counties through Housing Kitsap’s Mutual Self-Help Homeownership Program.

With the help of Housing Kitsap supervisors, families, individuals and volunteers work as their own construction crew to build one another’s homes. Their sweat equity is their down payment and helps keep costs down, an HK news release says.

Knowledge of construction is not required. It is hard work and requires a time and labor commitment of up to 35 hours per week per household for 10-14 months. The homes are built simultaneously; no one moves in until all homes in a group are finished.

On March 24 at 10:30 a.m., the eight homes at Sherman Ridge, a neighborhood off Melcher Street in Port Orchard, will gain certificates of occupancy. To celebrate their newest homeowners, Housing Kitsap is hosting an event on-site, at 128 W. Melcher St., to commemorate the homeowners’ hard work and perseverance.

Heather Blough, executive director of Housing Kitsap, said: “This process provides opportunities to become economically more independent and assists in building generational wealth. The process is incredibly hard for the homebuilders/homeowners.”

The homebuilder-homeowners would not be successful without the strengths of their neighbors, truly a key ingredient in the recipe for “community,” the news release adds.