CHIP moves forward with rebuilding affordable housing

Community Housing Improvement Program receives a grant to help rebuild the Paradise Community Village that was destroyed in the Camp Fire.

Posted: Oct 4, 2019 6:23 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - A North State non-profit organization is getting ready to add affordable housing across Butte County.

The Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) received a grant to help rebuild the Paradise Community Village after being destroyed in the Camp Fire.

"And it took 10 years to build.. and one day to burn," Zappettini said.

Director of Rental Housing for CHIP Kris Zappettini said the Paradise Community Village project was special.

"The structure is obviously less important than what it meant for the people living there," she said.

Zappettini said CHIP still keeps in touch with them.

"Many continue to call back saying when are you going to rebuild because when we come back to paradise thats where we want to live," Zappettini said.

The North Valley Community Foundation and the California Community Foundation came through with big news - a grant for $560,000.

Zappettini said the money will be put towards hiring more staff to ramp up projects.

"It helps us cut time so that we can get to what people really need which is housing production so that they have a place to live," she said.

"When we talk about the village and how valuable it was to this community where are those people - what happened to them," Nordgren said.

Gwen Nordgren volunteers and lives at the Paradise Lutheran Church.

She's in a one-bedroom studio on the church's campus with her dog after losing everything in the Camp Fire.

"Everybody was homeless we were all just couch surfing and traveling around and living at the Rolling Hills Casino's RV lot and that kind of thing," Nordgren said.

Nordgren said the church has a project in place to help with affordable housing in their community too.

"This lot and all of the land behind you is we got two and 2/3 acres and we're going to be building four sections of housing with four units each," she said.

Nordgren said they're trying to fill the need for affordable housing in the community - that right now is so desperate.

"I think it's amazing that everyone's behind this because it's so necessary," Nordgren said.

"I hope its a start for even more development I hope its the ability to say what was destroyed can be rebuilt and maybe built even better," Zappettini said.

CHIP hopes to start construction for rebuilding the Paradise Community Village next year.

CHIP is starting pre-development work on up to 40 homes in Paradise and up to 122 homes in Thermalito.

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