Posted: 6:25 p.m. MST
The Housing America Corporation broke ground in Somerton today for a new housing development that will provide affordable housing for 149 families within five years.
Property taxes and building permits for those 149 homes will bring about $1.3 million to Somerton's economy, according to the Housing America Corporation.
With a $12 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $5 million investment for infrastructure, 39.6 acres of land in Somerton will become homes for low- to moderate-income earners.
"It all means a big boost for the local economy," said District 4 County Supervisor Tony Reyes. "It's a big, big project for a city the size of Somerton."
New infrastructure, such as street lights and sidewalks, will also improve the area, said Irma Myers, the executive director of the Housing America Corporation.
"By creating this kind of investment of five million dollars, we're bringing more people to leave their dollars here in Somerton," Myers said.
Besides earning a low to moderate wage, potential homeowners must have a full-time job and three open lines of credit.
"Anybody that lives here in America--that's what they want. The American Dream is to own a home, and Housing America makes it possible for many families," said Somerton Mayor Martin Porchas.
Somerton resident Humberto Gutierrez is an example. He became a homeowner in 1993 through the U.S.D.A. and the Housing America Corporation's self-help program where people help construct the homes they live in. The 149 homes that will be built are a part of the self-help program.
"When I first got to the U.S., we rented a small trailer. And after some time we found out about this company from some friends," Gutierrez said in Spanish. "When we enrolled in the program, it was like a dream coming true that we were going to own our own home in the U.S. And it's truly wonderful."
The Housing America Corporation is accepting applications for the homes. Their phone number is (928) 627-4221.