Thursday, October 13, 2005

Habitat for Humanity Builds Houses in San Jose


Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity is an agency committed to providing safe, decent, affordable housing for low income families in Santa Clara County. The strategic plan of the agency includes thirty new housing units in the next three years. The following are the projects under way during Fall, 2005.

Murphy Avenue, San Jose: The first two of three sites on Murphy Avenue are now under construction. These two sites will have a total of five houses. The third site, with construction scheduled to begin in 2006, will include six houses. With a total of eleven houses, the Murphy Avenue project is the largest group of houses attempted by Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity. Construction began in August, 2005, anticipating that the houses will be under roof by the time the winter rains begin. Volunteer groups are scheduled for these sites through November.

Julian Street and 13th Street: These two Victorian houses have been divided into rooming houses. They originally sat where the new San Jose City Hall has been built. When the city cleared the land, these houses were moved, and Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity was asked to renovate them as condominiums.

The renovation began in October, 2005. All of the extra partitions, along with plumbing and electrical systems, will be removed, and the houses will be restored to their full Victorian appearance. The interiors will be renovated to include two condominiums in each building. The work will include extensive de-construction, then building in contemporary services and appliances.

Volunteering for construction: Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity is able to provide housing at low cost because of the dedication, time, and energy of volunteers. There is a constant need for regular volunteers working one to three days each week, and day volunteers—groups and individuals who occasionally work for a day on the build sites.

Day volunteers are on site from 8:30am until 4:00pm, with a half-hour for lunch. Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity provides tools and equipment. Young people between the ages of 14 and 17 are welcome on the site when accompanied by an adult.

For more information regarding construction or other volunteer possibilities, contact Mary Lou Ireland, 408-942-6444, or


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