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HUD No. 05-WA-13
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
For Release
June 22, 2005


Architecture Students to Build “Green” Affordable Home

SEATTLE --- Groundbreaking will occur this Saturday, June 25th in Mabton on a home to be built by architecture students from the UW. The project, which is funded by a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning through the Community Outreach Partnership Centers (COPC) program, will result in an affordable, energy efficient home for first-time homeowner, Vanessa Cervantes and her family.

[Photo: Pedroza family]
Adrian Pedroza, winery worker, Adrian Andrew, age 3, Vanessa Cervantes, elementary school secretary, and Brandon, 8, will move into their first home this August in Mabton. The home, being built by UW architecture students, is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We're really excited about it -- it's a great opportunity," said Cervantes, an elementary school secretary who hopes to get a degree and become a guidance counselor. "While they're building it, I'm going to be there as much as possible."

Her new home in the town of Mabton -- eight miles south of Sunnyside -- will be the first of three such dwellings designed and built by UW students as a case study in how to create houses that are both ultra-affordable and ultra-efficient.

A visual climax should come the weekend of July 9-11, when those pieces rise to become the walls of Cervantes' home, large enough to accommodate partner Adrian Pedroza, a winery worker, and their boys Adrian Andrew, age 3, and Brandon, 8. By August 20-22, students should be applying the finishing touches.

"It's fitting that this groundbreaking is in June, which is National Homeownership Month," said HUD's Regional Director John W. Meyers. "We're focusing on minority homeownership because we know that minorities aren't sharing equally in the homeownership dream. In fact, there's a "homeownership gap" in this country... and projects like this help to close it."

The student-designed and -built house will be part of a 22-home development the Diocese of Yakima Housing Services has created for first-time buyers. Other homes to be built will be partly funded through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which provides funding for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements.

The COPC program is designed to help colleges and universities apply their human, intellectual, and institutional resources to the challenge of revitalizing communities. The grants can be used for local housing, infrastructure, economic development, job training, education or crime prevention.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.


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