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Habitat for Humanity houses Camp Fire survivors in Chico

Five out of the six new homes being built are for survivors, the other house is for a single mom from Chico.

Posted: May 21, 2020 8:14 PM
Updated: May 22, 2020 7:45 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Five out of the six new homes being built are for survivors, the other house is for a single mom from Chico.

"It's just such a blessing," Abby McGuire, a recipient from Paradise said.

McGuire and her son were struggling to get by before moving into her parent's house in Paradise, then came the Camp Fire.

"We had to start over again and it was really hard but it brought us even closer together," said McGuire.

"We're really excited to be able to do this and to utilize the land as effectively and efficiently as we possibly can," Nicole Bateman, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Butte County.

Habitat for Humanity secured that land with a grant from the City of Chico, Bateman said the partnership project has been in the works for about 7 years.

"We've hired a for-profit developer to help us with this construction project, Paul Mello is helping us and that's how we're getting it done quickly," she said.

Bateman told Action News Now this isn't a giveaway program.

"They're putting in sweat equity hours to help build their houses and they're also putting a down payment of $1,000, so we look at folks that typically couldn't afford a conventional home but have income to help pay for a mortgage," Bateman said.

"I honestly didn't think I was gonna get it they told us you have to write a letter basically saying your story and why you should be picked," McGuire said.

McGuire said the location for her new home is ideal for her and her son because it's right around the corner from her workplace, at the Chico Community Children's Center.

McGuire runs by her future new home every morning.

"It just made my whole life," she said. "All I ever wanted was to own a house and have somewhere for my son to and to know he will always have something to come back to."

Two of the houses will be done by July, and the rest in the beginning of the fall.

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The weather will be pulling a 180 as we head into the evening hours and kick off our work week. A north wind will be taking hold, bringing gusty conditions and increased fire danger to the valley, foothills, and the Sierra Mountains. Gusts between 25-35mph are possible from late this evening through Monday night for the valley while the foothills and the Sierra will continue to see the windy conditions through Tuesday morning. This has prompted a Red Flag Warning for the Valley 11pm tonight through 8pm Monday while the Sierra and Foothills will last through Tuesday morning.
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