PORT ANGELES — Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County is doubling its output this year by building two homes in Port Angeles.
Emily Carpenter of Carlsborg and her two grandchildren, and Mike and Lindsay Million of Port Angeles and their four children broke ground on Jan. 5 on two three-bedroom, one-bathroom homes at Maloney Heights in Port Angeles.
“I’m super excited,” Carpenter said. “[The kids] are very excited to have their own rooms and a yard to play in.”
Habitat staff said the nonprofit traditionally builds one home per year, but with a land bank at Maloney Heights near 16th and N streets, there are nine lots left to complete the 13-home community.
The Millions said they were put on a waiting list for a home and learned in late December about being accepted.
“It was a good Christmas present,” said Lindsay Million, a stay-at-home mom.
She and her husband, a mechanic, live with their four children, Kyia, 7, Nyriana, 5, Rylie, 2, and 5-month-old Dominic, with her parents in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home.
The family moved to Port Angeles in August 2015 for work and to be closer to family.
They needed to move recently from their former home after their landlord decided to sell it.
“We are making do. It’s a roof over my kids’ head,” Million said.
She said that, like many in the area, it’s been difficult to find affordable, quality housing.
“Every one we applied for, we’d miss out,” Million said. “Or they didn’t want two people per room.”
Carpenter, a bartender/server, and her two grandchildren, Aubree, 5, and Jordan, 3, continue to live in a Carlsborg trailer park after four years.
Carpenter’s daughter suggested she apply to Habitat and after doing so, she learned last September she was chosen.
“There were so many emotions that day,” she said. “I was very surprised I was chosen.”
Carpenter moved to Sequim in 2003 to raise her three children and now raises two of her grandchildren.
She works nights in Port Angeles while her oldest daughter watches Carpenter’s grandchildren in Sequim.
Making the move won’t be convenient but, “We’ll figure it out,” she said. “We always do.”
Both families will invest “sweat equity” into their future homes, with the Millions providing 250 hours each of work and Carpenter 250 hours of her own along with its closing costs and paying a monthly loan.
“It will be a tough process, but it’ll be worth it,” Million said.
The homes will be built side-by-side, and the couples and volunteer crews will alternate between them.
Million said the homes will take anywhere from five months to Christmas-time, depending on multiple scenarios.
Both families said plans to lay the foundations are in place for this week.
Volunteers remain needed for construction, and they can register online at habitat clallam.volunteerhub.com.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].