In spite of funding cuts, the Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation (NNHC) pumped more than $13 million into the local economy last year.The corporation’s Executive Director Kim Datwyler said 2011 was an “interesting year,” with participants in the programs receiving a hands up and not a “hand-out.””So we have everything from helping to build your own home, that’s a very affordable payment, to down payment assistance if you buy in Logan, to buying a home anywhere in the state if you or a family member has a disability, rental housing particularly for seniors and people with disabilities, and then foreclosure mitigation and prevention services.”Datwyler said there were ups and downs last year, but fortunately the programs were saved despite funding cuts.The organization provided foreclosure counseling to 229 families, Datwyler said, with only six homes actually going through foreclosure.”Everyone deserves a place to call home,” she said.That’s why it’s so important that cuts and gaps in program funding be avoided if possible this year, she said.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Datwyler said in 2011, some 25 homes were started or built through the program where the owners work together, actually helping one another build the new homes in their neighborhood. Datwyler said studies show that affordable housing pays off, bringing more stability to the neighborhoods.”We find studies that show that homeowners have children that are more likely to graduate from high school, to go on to college and basically stay out of trouble and plan on becoming homeowners themselves. So, very stabilizing, and it’s just nice when you have someone that’s as vested in the community as every other homeowner in that neighborhood,” she said. “They serve on city councils. They get out and vote. They volunteer.”Datwyler said so far 274 homes have been built through the self-help housing program, 222 of those in Cache County and 52 in Box Elder County.
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