On a cool Saturday morning in the Ocean View neighborhood, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco held an emotional celebration dedicating 28 new affordable homes for low-income families, with a solar system - installed by GRID Alternatives - on every roof. The development, called Habitat Terrace, arose from what was once a vacant lot to become beautiful three story homes for families in need.
New affordable housing developments are sorely needed across the Bay Area, and the Ocean View is one of the lowest-ranking districts in San Francisco for this kind of construction to date. Thanks to the solar systems, installed by GRID volunteers, staff and job trainees over the last 2 years, the new homeowners will also start with a leg up on their electricity bills. In fact, each system will generate about $24,000 in energy cost savings over the systems life times.
“In the face of the housing crisis, affordable homeownership provides a long-term solution for families to actually remain in the Bay Area by giving them an opportunity to build equity and ensure generational stability,” said Maureen Sedonaen, chief executive officer of Habitat Greater San Francisco.
One of the families moving in to Habitat Terrace, a single mom with three kids, celebrated their new home as a real dream come true. Over years of moving from place to place, struggling to find affordability and stability, she recalled telling her children, “We’re going home,” just to receive the answer “Which one?” Now, thanks to Habitat Greater San Francisco and the significant savings from solar, they have their very own dream home, complete with clean renewable energy.
A huge thank you to all the GRID volunteers who joined us in Solarthon 2014 and the year that followed as we installed all 28 systems at Habitat Terrace! You can see photos from the event – and the homes being built – on GRID's Flickr here.