The lives of four low-income families will change for the better next year when they receive the keys to new energy-efficient homes in Long Beach, where construction recently kicked off.
Built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, with funding support from Edison International, the homes are part of Habitat LA’s plan to revitalize the Washington Neighborhood — one of Long Beach’s most impoverished areas.
“Owning a home means so much to me,” said Latora Nall, one of the future homeowners. “Since having my son at the age of 18, I have always dreamed of giving him a better life and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”
To date, the nonprofit has invested $2.5 million building and repairing 12 homes and improving distressed community buildings within the neighborhood. Now, work has started to transform a once-vacant lot into four single-family homes.
The homes will have state-of-the-art green technology throughout — LEED certified energy-efficiency building standards, Energy Star appliances, energy-friendly siding, thermal pane windows and doors, recycled carpets, recycled blown-in foam insulation and water-efficient toilets and shower heads.
To top it off, each home’s garage will come equipped with 220-volt electric vehicle chargers, and the roof will be “solar ready” so Habitat LA’s nonprofit partner, GRID Alternatives, can work with the homeowners to install low or no-cost solar panels upon the closing of escrow.
“Communities like the Washington Neighborhood are often looked over when it comes to energy efficiency, solar rooftops and electric vehicles,” said Greg Ferree, Southern California Edison’s vice president of Distribution and Habitat LA board member. “We’re excited to partner with organizations that are bringing this technology to these communities, reducing our carbon footprint and helping build a better tomorrow.”
The new homeowners will each contribute up to 500 hours of volunteer labor, or sweat equity as Habitat LA calls it, plus complete about 31 hours of finance and homeownership courses before moving in. Edison International volunteers will join the future homeowners at 10 build days to help construct the homes.
Last year, Edison International donated to more than 1,500 nonprofit organizations, including 62 within Long Beach — about 90 percent of which helped underserved communities.