Sweat Equity

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Through the Citizens for Affordable Housing program in Carson city, families put in their own time and hard work building their own home in exchange for a zero down payment.

Outside of Dayton, the first group of six homes is in the final stretch toward completion

"I don't think we would have had a home our our own--was it not for this program--for at least, probably, 10 years. In order for me to come up with the down payment," says Annette Gatlin, a soon-to-be-homeowner.

For the last six months, she and five other families in her housing group have been required to pour 35 hours of labor into their homes a week.

"I have swung a hammer. I'm not in any way skilled in the carpentry field. It just enjoy it, it's been an awesome experience."

In partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, Citizens for Affordable Housing Inc. is a growing program in the Silver State. More than 70 low income, first-time homeowners in Northern Nevada have already worked their way through the program...and there are plans to add more home sites throughout the state.

Most everyone agrees that one of the highlights of the building project is the camaraderie between neighbors.

"I know all of my neighbors, we all have become very close and we're all working together for one common goal," says Gatlin.

Achievement probably never felt so sweet...or came with so much sweat.

If you'd like more information about sweat equity and home loans, call the Citizens for Affordable Homes, Inc. at (775) 883-7101.

Tomorrow, the USDA will present the Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc. with a loan check of close to one million dollars to help with land development for future homes. It's the biggest gift the non-profit organization has received...and they say it will greatly help their cause.