Grass-covered vacant lots will be transformed into new single-family homes by the Housing and Neighborhood Development Service, or HANDS, and the Sisters of St. Joseph.
The groups are working together to build affordable housing in Little Italy.
HANDS Executive Director Charles Scalise says the project will encourage people to take pride in their community. "We are trying to reverse the trend here. Little Italy has traditionally become an area where a lot of apartments are, but we want to reverse that a little bit so we have a little more home ownership so that folks have a longer investment into the neighborhood community so they become stakeholders as well," says Scalise.
Neighbors say they are excited to see the new construction. "I think once we have owner-occupied homes, the neighborhood will improve. It's very difficult when you have renters who come and go and really have no interest in the neighborhood," says Michael Dedad, who lives in Little Italy.
The first new house should be completed in August, with the others being finished in December. If you are interested in owning one of the new homes, call HANDS at 459-1047.