Habitat For Humanity Breaks Ground on Affordable Homes in Desert Hot Springs

Kamari Esquerra

“This is honestly the most incredible thing that could’ve happened to us. I’m so emotional,” said Dalia Sotelo, a Desert Hot Springs Resident. “It’s the greatest blessing honestly. We’ve been praying to get a home for so long.”

It’s the American dream for two Desert Hot Springs families. 

“The families were already residents of Desert Hot Springs, and now they’ll be able to be permanent residents here,” said Dave Thornton, Executive Director. 

On Thursday, Habitat For Humanity Coachella Valley broke ground on two donated lots of land in Desert Hot Springs that will soon be affordable homes for the Sotelo and Gonzalez families.

“It seems unrealistic. I don’t have any words to explain the feeling,” said Stephanie Gonzalez, a Desert Hot Springs Resident. “I just wanna…. break down and cry because it’s such a blessing.”

The families, along with Habitat For Humanity and Desert Hot Springs city officials turned over the first shovels full of soil to kick off the construction and mark the beginning of a dream come true.

“I dreamed it one day, I didn’t think it was going to happen so soon, especially during these times,” said Sotelo. “I had really kind of given up on the idea and was just looking into renting an apartment because home ownership was not in view for us, in sight for us.”

Both families say finding an affordable home that provides comfort and space for their families has been a challenge. 

“We’re currently living in a converted space. It’s a 2 bedroom. There’s 6 of us in the home, so we’re very, very overcrowded,” said Sotelo. “We are in a really tough spot where we were asked to move out but we didn’t have anywhere to go so just landing this is just amazing for us.”

The homes are designated as single-family, low-income housing. The families will acquire the homes through low interest and affordable mortgages. They will also participate in the construction of their new homes with sweat equity.

“We’re changing lives generationally. To give a family an opportunity to have an affordable home, that’s a mortgage they can pay, and they can raise their children and maybe their grandchildren in these homes,” said Thornton. “It’s really exciting that we can be a part of changing lives permanently.” 

“I just want to thank everybody that’s involved,” said Sotelo. “I’m just so thankful.”

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