Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking; 8 Riverdale families to receive new home

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The small, rural town of Riverdale will soon be growing.

Habitat for Humanity announced that it will be building eight homes, with the federal government pitching in to help.

"One of the cool things about the United States Department of Agriculture is they have a 502 direct loan program that is available for low-income rural housing,'' explained Ashley Hedemann, Human Resource and Operations Manager with Habitat For Humanity.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, all eight families had been notified that they had been chosen for the project. The digging is set to begin soon.

"It feels really good that we are just going to have a house finally and I'm just excited to start shoveling and getting to work," said Stephanie Perez, family recipient.

Perez, sharing her family's surprise and excitement after finding out they were one of the eight families that will have a new home built by summer 2023.

"Well my mom here did not want to cry, that was her whole mission," added Perez.

Central Valley Community Bank also partnered with Habitat to help make this all possible, providing the loans for this project, totaling $2.9 million.

The company sees it as an investment in the future of the Valley.

"The families that are going to benefit from this. I mean, you're the next generation that is going to keep Riverdale going," said Ken Ramos, Vice President with Central Valley Community Bank

"Our families are carrying a home mortgage. Habitat is a hand up, we are not a handout," added Hedemann.

The selected families will also have to contribute 500 hours of "sweat equity" lending a helping hand in the construction of these homes, something they are grateful to do.

And they wanted to share a message of perseverance and supporting one another.

"Shout out to my daughter, Roxanne. She wasn't able to be with us, she's doing her finals, but she is the one who picked me up and said 'Mom, it's not always going to be this way. We're going to get up there.'" said Iscel Madrigal.
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