Self-help home builder will move offices to Dayton building

DAYTON - Taking its own advice that it's far better to own than to rent, Citizens for Affordable Homes Inc. is moving out of its leased Carson City office and into its own building in Dayton.

The nonprofit organization will acquire twice as much square footage with the move, about 2,900 total, and a workshop the size of a barn.

Chief Executive Officer Ron Trunk said Thursday that all of the organization's 17 employees will move to the 100 Pine Cone Road office in about 60 days when the $400,000 building project is completed.

"It's closer to our job site and it's always felt better to own rather than renting," Trunk said. "That way we're continuing to build equity."

The Dayton Regional Advisory Committee approved a master plan and zoning change Wednesday night for the half-acre lot.

The changes still must be approved by the Lyon County Planning Commission and county commission.

The office is about 70 percent completed. It's located near 24 lots where construction will soon begin on more self-help homes.

Citizens for Affordable Homes has helped hundreds of Dayton residents build affordable homes using their own labor as a down payment, rather than a larger bank loan. Those who qualify for the housing assistance program must dedicate 35 hours a week to the construction of their group of homes.

The new office has an added benefit: a barn-sized workshop for those who need the space to work, protected from the rain or snow. The 1,500-square-foot workshop is designed with enough room to pull a truck through it.

"We'll be able to use it for the families to build their walls in when we have bad weather. It will also be a training place for Western Nevada Community College students," Trunk said.

CAHI works with the Builders Association of Western Nevada to teach WNCC students onsite construction experience. The program could expand this year to include Lyon County's high school students.

But Citizens for Affordable Homes isn't completely pulling out of the capital city. It has a project planned for lower-income Carson City residents who would like to own their own homes.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors approved a plan Thursday to rezone an area south of Highway 50 to allow for multi-family units.

The nonprofit organization has a memorandum of understanding to purchase one acre on Brown Street, which could fit 30 to 36 town homes.

The preliminary projections are that the homes will cost $150,000 to $175,000 for two- and three-bedroom models. The homes would include enclosed garages, fully landscaped grounds and a children's play area.

The townhouses will be built under the self-help method, where a minimum of 500-600 hours of labor is required in lieu of a down payment.

The organization will begin taking applications in December.

- Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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