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East Bay residents set to become homeowners in Walnut Creek thanks to Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity expands home ownership in Walnut Creek
Habitat for Humanity expands home ownership in Walnut Creek 02:30

WALNUT CREEK -- Some families in Walnut Creek are getting ready to move into new townhomes that would likely have been out of reach due to their financial circumstances if not for the nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity.

70-year-old Walnut Creek resident Michael Norris is a grandfather to seven. He told KPIX he never thought he would be able to own a home.   

"I just thought I was going to be too old to ever own a home, so this will fill that part of it," said Norris. "So now I have somewhere to grow old."

Norris said he has been trying to buy a home for years. In Walnut Creek, the median home price is $849,000. He says purchasing a residence has always been out of reach for him.   

"I want to leave something for my grandkids," Norris said.

Habitat For Humanity Esperanza Place project
Habitat For Humanity Esperanza Place project in Walnut Creek. CBS SF

When he applied for the Habitat for Humanity's program, things changed. He was able to purchase a home at Esperanza Place.  

"I had a good feeling I would get it," Norris said.

Habitat for Humanity has been working on the Esperanza development in the city since 2021. A total of 42 affordable-housing units will be created in the housing complex.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley communications manager Patti Wang Cross says the project is giving more people the opportunity to buy a home in Walnut Creek.

"The homes are 100% affordable, which means they're going for roughly half of what they might sell for on the open market," Cross said. "We are really looking to price these homes for about a third -- 30% to 35% -- of the future homeowners monthly income to cover for their housing costs."

Habitat for Humanity says the homeowners are all required to volunteer for over 100 hours of work -- what the nonprofit calls "sweat equity" -- contributing to the building of the actual units. 

Norris says it was something he didn't know he was able to do until now. This December, he will be able to walk into his brand-new home.

Habitat for Humanity partnered with Kaiser Permanente, who donated $400,000 to the Esperanza Place housing project to make these homes possible. 

Habitat for Humanity is still taking applications from those interested in being a first-time homeowner at the housing development. Individuals can apply online at the Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley website.  

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