At a Friday afternoon ceremony, 11 low-income families celebrated months of work when they received the keys to newly constructed homes they helped build in Atascadero.
The ceremony, which was attended by Mayor Tom O’Malley, was held in the new neighborhood at 6940 Atascadero Ave.
It was the culmination of a yearlong effort to establish more affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County by the low-income families, several contractors and Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, a nonprofit organization founded in San Luis Obispo that helps to create affordable housing along the Central Coast.
Each family had to qualify financially for the program, and after learning the proper construction skills, set to work armed with hammers and nails.
Among the tasks they tackled were forming the foundations, framing, and installing roofing and siding, according to a news release from the housing organization.
The three- and four-bedroom, single-story homes, which each feature two bathrooms and two garages, cost little for the new occupants up front: Because of the families’ own labor, coupled with construction and mortgage loans through the Department of Agriculture, owners did not need to produce any form of down payment, the release said.