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Prosser families celebrate having a house to call their own

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Prosser woman Karla Jaime (R) thanks La Clinica self-help housing program officials for giving her the chance to have a house to call her own. Jaime is one of 11 Prosser new homeowners, who took part in ribbon cutting ceremonies Wednesday at Casi Court. Also pictured is Teddy Mahaffey (L) of the La Clinica program.

PROSSER - Wednesday morning, Teresa Degante of Prosser proudly guided a parade of complete strangers through her beautiful new home.

In limited English, she and her four young daughters told their visitors of the hours of work it took to create their new home, literally from the ground up. The very-pregnant Degante told of the long hours of labor needed to construct the five-bedroom house, located on a lot in Prosser's new Casi Court.

Meanwhile, Karla Jaime, a widow with four children, told a small gathering of bankers, legislators and construction experts of the difficulties she had in becoming a first-time homeowner using the conventional methods.

"Buying my own house was not an option due to my bad credit following my husband's death," said Jaime.

But she soon learned help was available for people in her situation. Jaime learned about a self-help program, which would aid her in realizing her dream of being a homeowner by giving her a hand in actually pounding the nails needed to complete her new home.

Degante and Jaime are among 11 Prosser families who took part in a self-help housing project, under the auspices of the Community Health Center La Clinica. The women were among seven families Wednesday who attended a celebration of their accomplishment held in the new Prosser sub-division.

The 11 new Prosser homes are among 150 homes built through the self-help program, which has assisted low-income families in building their own homes since 1993.

The Community Health Center's La Clinica's self-help housing program presently has houses under construction in Pasco, Prosser and Mattawa, said Teddie Mahaffey of the Pasco- based agency.

"We are still taking applications for these building projects," Mahaffey said.

Of the 150 new homes built by the La Clinic project, 15 are located in Sunnyside and 24 are located in Grandview.

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