First District Congressman Rob Bishop’s keynote address will highlight a Monday ribbon-cutting event in Nibley to celebrate the construction of more Mutual Self Help Homes. Kim Datwyler is executive director of Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation. “We are celebrating 14 families that have spent the last eight months building their homes and they will be moving into the Nibley subdivision called Zollinger Acres,” said Datwyler. Datwyler said the expectation is to have the total up to 250 homes built in northern Utah, another milestone they are looking forward to. She said the Mutual Self Help Program has been zeroed out of President Obama’s 2012 budget; she is working to save it. “Unfortunately, if that does happen, it means that 36 families that currently build homes with us each year will not be able to. The program won’t exist; there will be no loan for them, no assistance from us. It also means our economic impact will be decreased by about $10 million a year, that’s $10 million less flowing into our economy.” She is hoping people will recognize that affordable housing is an integral part of the community. “We want people to become homeowners, to put down roots and become involved in and care about the future of our valley. We hope people will make calls to our legislators and say ‘This is a program that works, why are you cutting it?’ We hope changes will be made to the way cuts are being applied.” Datwyler said she has had discussions with all of Utah’s congressional representatives and intends to continue to do so. “Cutting a program that requires so much work and effort (sweat equity) from its participants, and in return has a foreclosure rate of less than one half of one percent in our area is probably not the most effective way to balance the budget. There are certainly programs that do not perform as well as this one.” She said the proposed cuts would not keep the Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation from continuing to operate. “It certainly threatens our ability to help families become homeowners. We can provide a rental unit and we can provide down payment assistance. But for those that really are working hard and want to become a homeowner, it will unfortunately affect what we do.” The event will start Monday at 3:30 p.m. at the Nibley City Office Building, 25 West 3200 South in Nibley.
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