The Sacramento program turns cannabis grow houses into family homes

The City of Sacramento and Habitat for Humanity are working to address the region’s affordable housing crisis in a unique way: transforming former illegal cannabis grow houses into family homes. Owners who get cited for illegally growing cannabis can choose to donate their property directly Habitat for Humanity instead of paying administrative penalties. The home is then remodeled, and a family in need of affordable housing can purchase it with a 30-year fixed-rate at 0% interest mortgage. “This program is a great example of the city thinking outside the box,” City of Sacramento Senior Deputy City Attorney Emilio Camacho said.Two homes have already completed this process, and a third home in South Sacramento is currently undergoing the transformation. According to the city, the administrative penalties for the illegal cannabis grown at the third home site totaled $ 372,500. The historical value of the house at the time of its donation in 2021 was $ 354,500. Camacho said that while reaching a settlement is great, the goal of the program goes beyond money and beyond creating affordable housing options. environment within Sacramento’s neighborhoods. “In a way, that’s almost a sure way to make sure it’s not going to be an illegal cannabis operation again,” Camacho said. The Justice for Neighbors program started. working with Habitat for Humanity in 2019 to tackle illegal cannabis grow homes, but the program has been around since 2006. It was established to eliminate or reduce threats to public health and safety in communities across Sacramento. Leah Miller, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, said the first thing they do when they get control of a property is demolition. “Strip it all back down to the studs, and then from there, we rebuild,” Miller said. “We’re going to re-do the siding; We’re going to put in new installation, new electrical, new drywall. Everything in here is going to be brand new. “Miller said she is thrilled to be able to work with the city to offer homes to lower-income families – but she agrees the program does much more than that.” It’s not only the opportunity. to create a new affordable home for our community but also helps to alleviate blight in the neighborhood. We’re here in a residential neighborhood, and this home was a nuisance to those people who live here and the families who live here because of the illegal activity that was happening, “Miller said. KCRA 3 spoke to the family who will own property that is currently being renovated. Yong Chang, her husband and their four kids are expected to move in by late fall or early winter this year.Chang said she is already making plans for every nook and cranny of the building, although the only things that have been put up inside the property are the wooden beams. The family is currently crammed into a two-bedroom apartment in south Sacramento. And although she has wanted to become a homeowner for years, affordable housing in the Sacramento region has been hard to find. “We looked for so long, and nobody accepted us because the income is low,” Chang said. Chang said she is grateful to the Justice for Neighbors program and Habitat for Humanity for helping her realize her dream of homeownership. “I can’t wait until we get the house!” Chang exclaimed.

The City of Sacramento and Habitat for Humanity are working to address the region’s affordable housing crisis in a unique way: transforming former illegal cannabis grow houses into family homes.

Through the Justice for Neighbors program, which is run through the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office, property owners who get cited for illegally growing cannabis can choose to donate their property directly Habitat for Humanity instead of paying administrative penalties. The home is then remodeled, and a family in need of affordable housing can purchase it with a 30-year fixed-rate at 0% interest mortgage.

“This program is a great example of the city thinking outside the box,” said City of Sacramento Senior Deputy City Attorney Emilio Camacho.

Two homes have already completed this process, and a third home in South Sacramento is currently undergoing the transformation. According to the city, the administrative penalties for the illegal cannabis grown at the third home site totaled 372,500. The historical value of the house at the time of its donation in 2021 was $ 354,500.

Orko Manna / KCRA 3

This is what the South Sacramento home currently looks like in the process of being transformed.

Camacho said that while reaching a settlement is great, the goal of the program goes beyond money and beyond creating affordable housing options. It is also meant to create a safer environment within Sacramento’s neighborhoods.

“In a way, that’s almost a sure way to make sure it’s not going to be an illegal cannabis operation again,” Camacho said.

The Justice for Neighbors program started working with Habitat for Humanity in 2019 to tackle illegal cannabis grow homes, but the program has been around since 2006. It was established to eliminate or reduce threats to public health and safety in communities across Sacramento.

Leah Miller, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, said the first thing they do when they get control of a property is demolition.

“Strip it all back down to the studs, and then from there, we rebuild,” Miller said. “We’re going to re-do the siding; We’re going to put in new installation, new electrical, new drywall. Everything in here is going to be brand new. ”

south & # x20; sacramento & # x20; home

Orko Manna / KCRA 3

This is an inside look at the former illegal cannabis grow house, which will soon be transformed into a family home.

Miller said she is thrilled to be able to work with the city to offer homes to lower-income families – but she agrees the program does much more than that.

“It’s not only the opportunity to create a new affordable home for our community but also helps to alleviate blight in the neighborhood. We’re here in a residential neighborhood, and this home was a nuisance to those people who live here and the families who live here because of the illegal activity that was happening, “Miller said.

KCRA 3 spoke to the family who will own the property that is currently being renovated. Yong Chang, her husband and their four kids are expected to move in by late fall or early winter this year.

yong & # x20; chang & # x20; and & # x20; family

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento

Yong Chang, her husband Ger Thao and their four children.

Chang said she is already making plans for every nook and cranny of the building, although the only things that have been put up inside the property are the wooden beams. The family is currently crammed into a two-bedroom apartment in south Sacramento. And although she has wanted to become a homeowner for years, affordable housing in the Sacramento region has been hard to find.

“We looked for so long, and nobody accepted us because the income is low,” Chang said.

Chang said she is grateful to the Justice for Neighbors program and Habitat for Humanity for helping her realize her dream of homeownership.

“I can’t wait until we get the house!” Chang exclaimed.

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