How Habitat for Humanity is Bringing Affordable Housing Back to Paradise

Hope: This little word is in the air in Paradise lately. 

And a big reason for that is Habitat for Humanity of Butte County.

So far, Habitat for Humanity has built homes in several Butte County locations: two in Oroville, 31 in Chico, and is completing seven in Paradise this year.

And now, in the wake of the Camp Fire and the need for more affordable homes on the Ridge, they’re ramping up their efforts in Paradise. Their goal? To reach building 10 houses per year for the foreseeable future with a focus on Paradise.

And what—or who—exactly is Habitat for Humanity?

Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide nonprofit organization that helps build affordable homes for families who have lower incomes. Volunteers are an integral part of this process.

In Butte County, Executive Director Nicole Bateman leads the charge alongside a passionate and committed team. For them, instilling this sense of hope in communities is the best part of the rebuilding process and one of the reasons why they love their jobs.

For Bateman, her passion for rebuilding in Paradise hits closer to home—literally. “We had staff and board members who lost their homes in the Camp Fire,” she said. “We were all deeply affected. We knew after this happened our mission was more relevant than ever.”

Partnerships have been important for Habitat, and the Paradise community has stepped up to the plate once again.

In the traditional Habitat for Humanity model, families who will be owning the home purchase the land and the home through an affordable mortgage. In Paradise, the North Valley Community Foundation (Butte Strong Fund) granted funds so Habitat for Humanity could purchase lots in Paradise, helping to bring down the overall cost of building a home.

To help reach the goal of ten houses per year, Habitat for Humanity of Butte County is switching up its volunteer-only model, working with a local for-profit contractor and other local construction entities to help build more houses than could typically be accomplished with just a volunteer crew.

The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce, community members, and local businesses have all leaned in as well, with organizations such as ACE Hardware, the Paradise Rotary Club Foundation, Foothill Lumber, and more offering grants, sponsorships, discounts, or in-kind donations to help with the building.

“The partnerships that have been developed are tremendous,” said Bateman. “All of us play a role in contributing to something bigger. You know you’re continuing to do something wonderful.”

And so far, they’re on track. Habitat for Humanity of Butte County has nearly completed the first three Habitat Homes in Paradise on Garden View Lane in Paradise, built with fire-resistant ICF technology in partnership with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. The dedication for these homes will be on August 6th and is open to the public—come on out!

“It’s our first home dedication in Paradise since the Camp Fire,” said Jenny Fales, the Development Manager at Butte Habitat for Humanity. “We’re just ecstatic. It’s not just the homeowners who are celebrating; it’s the whole community!”

Interested in buying a home through Habitat for Humanity? 

Habitat has you covered! A long-term loan, with mortgages of no more than 30% of your income, covers the long-term purchase of the house. There are several loan options to assist in the purchase, including first-time home buyer loans through the Town of Paradise and below-market loans through the USDA.

Habitat guides prospective families through the process, including home ownership and financial classes to help prepare people to become homeowners.

There are plenty of opportunities to help out if you’d like to get involved with Habitat for Humanity.

You can volunteer and help with the build process. You can join the monthly giving Hammer Club. You can also donate gently used household items and some building materials to the ReStore. The ReStore sells these donated items, and the proceeds help Habitat continue to build affordable housing in our community. 

If you have a business, you can partner with Habitat for Humanity. You can sponsor with financial resources or volunteer your time. And partnerships are not only helpful for the organization—they’re helpful for your company, too.

“When they come out and volunteer, it’s a great team opportunity for employees,” says Jenny. “It’s a great setup for team building and to give back to the community.”

Habitat for Humanity, companies, volunteers, and maybe even you are rebuilding Paradise—together.

“Jump in and become a part of what Paradise is becoming,” added Fales.

Turns out that “hope” is a pretty big deal after all.

That little word can influence communities to do some pretty amazing things. “When you talk with people, you can hear the sense of resiliency they’re expressing,” said Bateman. “They’re overcoming obstacles, finding a way around it. That brings out hope in people.”

At the end of the day, she said, “It’s all about providing hope for people.”

Interested in purchasing a home?

Habitat for Humanity is recruiting more homeowners for the next two houses in Paradise. Contact Habitat for Humanity at info@buttehabitat.org or (530) 332-0821 for more information and check out the eligibility requirements.

P.S. Come and celebrate with our future homeowners!

Saturday, August 6th at 10:00 a.m.

5514, 5518, & 5522 Garden View Lane, Paradise

Join Habitat for Humanity of Butte County for a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce, meet the families, and tour the homes. Call 530-343-7423 for more information.

Make it Paradise Newsletter

This newsletter is designed to keep you informed of the ongoing recovery efforts as we rebuild Paradise.  Each week you will receive a newsletter with events, current numbers (building permits, etc.), current topics and a weekly Q&A.

Occasionally, we may send out an extra newsletter pertaining to an upcoming event or important information.