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Habitat for Humanity to build 41 affordable townhomes in east Renton

Habitat for Humanity of East King County will build 41 affordable townhomes just off Petrovitsky Road near 128th Avenue Southeast.  - Submitted
Habitat for Humanity of East King County will build 41 affordable townhomes just off Petrovitsky Road near 128th Avenue Southeast.
— image credit: Submitted

Habitat for Humanity has broken ground on the first phase of a project that will bring 41 affordable townhomes to east Renton.

The first phase will include 11 townhomes in two buildings, the first of eight total buildings.

Habitat for Humanity officials joined with Renton government and business leaders and others to break ground on the project last month.

The project just off Petrovitsky Road near 128th Avenue Southeast is known as La Fortuna. Work, much of it donated by volunteers and the homeowners themselves, will begin in August. The new homeowners will move in fall 2011.

La Fortuna is a project of the Redmond-based Habitat for Humanity of East King County, which purchased the 4 1/2 acres for the housing in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity's Seattle/SouthKing County chapter.

Right now, the Eastside chapter is looking for skilled and unskilled workers, although supervised unskilled labor is used for most of the work, said Tom Granger, the Eastside chapter's executive director.

"There will lots of opportunities to get involved," said Granger.

The chapter also needs sponsors and donors, he said.

The initial five families have been selected to move into the new townhomes. To be eligible, families must earn less than 60 percent of the area's median income. In 2008, the county's median income was about $70,000.

Granger pointed out that many of the applying families live in substandard housing, so there's a need for "safe, decent housing."

Those applying must be willing to donate 500 hours of "sweat equity" to build either their own home or a neighbor's home, he said. That relationship with Habitat with Humanity will continue, through being a "good representative" of the agency or advocating for it.

The cost of each townhome is about $150,000, Granger said. The owner will have title to the building, but not the land, which will remain in a trust forever, he said.

The cost is based on how much it actually costs to build the home, he said; volunteer labor keeps those costs down, especially those with a specialized skill, such as roofers or plumbers.

How to help

Information about the Habitat for Humanity La Fortuna project, including how to donate labor or materials or to apply for home ownership, is available habitatekc.org. Information is also available at 425-869-6007. Starting Sept. 17 is the Build-A-Thon, which will require about 160 volunteers over four days.

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