News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Three Sisters families find homes through First Story

Three more Sisters families have found homes through Hayden Homes’ outreach arm, First Story.

Nate and Ariel Roy, with son Elijah (5) and daughter Xiomara (one); Genevieve Farrington and son Kyle (11); and Randy and Jazmine Ray, with son Sebastian (2) all celebrated this signal moment, receiving the keys to their new homes at a dedication ceremony at McKenzie Meadows Village earlier in June.

First Story, Hayden Homes, Neighborlmpact, and the City of Sisters worked together in the project in order to provide affordable homeownership opportunities in Sisters.

“It really starts with NeighborImpact,” said First Story Executive Director Claire Duncan. “All of our families go through their first-time homebuyer program. That’s really a key component. Everybody needs help preparing for homeownership, so it’s incredibly valuable.”

Having a home of their own is profoundly meaningful to the families.

Genevieve Farrington grew emotional in expressing what their new home means to her and her son. They’ve been living in Sisters since 2018, and Kyle has been attending Sisters Elementary School since the second grade, where his particular educational needs can be met. Keeping that going has been a struggle, and owning their home has changed the paradigm for them.

“We went through a lot of trauma and loss, so this is a space of healing for us,” Farrington said. “I can both manage to be his mom and keep a roof over our head. It’s wonderful to have a home and be his mom, both. It’s been a light at the end of the tunnel through all the dark times.”

Duncan noted that Mayor Michael Preedin and Councilor Gary Ross were deeply involved in the process of connecting the three families with this set of homes. Farrington expressed gratitude for that, as well.

“They were there to help us,” she said. “To help us when we needed it.”

Duncan noted that two of the three families were born and raised in Sisters but were finding themselves priced out of their hometown.

She said that creating affordable options for Sisters folks and keeping the community inclusive for everyone is a key priority of the program.

“We’re just seeing unprecedented cost of housing, and seeing the dream of owning a home out of reach just for so many people,” she said.

This is the second set of First Story homes built in the three-phase Hayden Homes community, McKenzie Meadows Village. Ten homes in total are dedicated to affordable housing for families qualifying at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) threshold of 80 percent or below of Adjusted Median Income (AMI). The homes are sold through First Story’s 30-year non-interest loan program.

First Story’s affordable loan program provides zero-down, zero-interest, 30-year loans to qualified individuals purchasing their first home.

The First Story homes are triplex units — but they are only attached at the garage and do not share a living-space wall, giving them the feel of a single-family detached home. They are 1,058 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They come with appliances, air conditioning, fencing, and landscaping in place.

For more information visit www.firststory.org/own-a-home.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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