News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Raising walls on affordable homes

In response to the growing need for affordable housing, nonprofit First Story, Hayden Homes, NeighborImpact and other local partners are collaborating to help three families move into new homes in Sisters.

A special wall-raising event was attended under social distancing conditions by future homeowners and their family members, City of Sisters Mayor Chuck Ryan and members of the Hayden Homes and First Story teams.

“As Mayor, I was very proud to participate along with Councilor (Michael) Preedin in interviewing three separate families and being a part of their dream of homeownership,” said Sisters Mayor Chuck Ryan. “It is a very rewarding experience and we look forward to continuing this valuable partnership with First Story as the McKenzie development progresses.”

First Story is focused on providing a hand up to homeownership. First Story, Hayden Homes, Neighborlmpact and the City of Sisters have come together for this special project in order to provide affordable homeownership opportunities in Sisters. The homes will be constructed by Hayden Homes in their McKenzie Meadows Village community and sold through First Story’s 30-year non-interest loan program. The first three families are graduates of Neighborlmpact’s HomeSource Program.

Each family is grateful for the safety, health and happiness that owning a home brings. A special key ceremony and welcome home celebration will take place in August.

“We’ve been dreaming and working towards owning a home for almost 20 years,” said Debra Donati and Nathan Barbeau. “We saved every extra penny that came our way and we even postponed getting married. Unfortunately, as we inched closer, Nate was in a devastating hit-and-run and our dream slipped away. First Story gave us hope again.”

“I’ve been doing everything I can — saving and working hard — to raise my family in my hometown of Sisters,” said Jacob Christensen. “But it’s so expensive that it meant my family of six sharing one bedroom at my mom’s house. So, we were forced to move, and our daughter now spends over an hour commuting to school each day. Next year, thanks to First Story, she will walk to school.”

“As a single dad, I work hard day in and day out to provide the best life for my son, Conner. Moving to Sisters means he will finally know something other than apartment living and what being a part of a community means,” said Nathaniel Grimes.


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