More homes for Sagan Linayan Subdivision - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

More homes for Sagan Linayan Subdivision

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - As the construction of 400 affordable homes in Lada Estates moves forward following a settlement agreement last Friday, more homes may soon be added to the count as the Guam Housing Corporation hopes to acquire 10 more abandoned hopes in their effort to bring some pride back to Sagan Linayan.

A sense of pride is needed for Sagan Linayan in Dededo as many homes have become abandoned or less than rental quality. GHC president Martin Benavente tells KUAM News that as 10 lots have been returned to the government due to a cancellation of the original sale agreement, hopes draft legislation will transfer the property to GHC's two additional units in order to move forward with Governor Eddie Calvo's affordable housing initiative.

He said, "And in order to do that is instill some home ownership and pride, and what we're saying is the way to do that is number one help with the mayor, help clean the place up and what belongs to the government and show example to the people that it can be done."

Last year Governor Calvo met with residents and toured the neighborhood, directing the GHC to begin work in order to establish a presence and some restoration. Grants will be used to improve the area along with the assistance of GHURA, Land Management and the Department of Corrections to help in the cleaning. He estimates about a half-million dollars is needed to get things started with about $40,000 per unit.

He said, "A lot of it is not the cost of rebuilding the units; a lot of it is actually the cleanup of Sagan Linayan. There are people who are throwing tires in other people's yards and thing like that. It's just an attitude change we're looking for actually, even if we spend that kind of money."

The project incorporates affordable rental properties to provide families with adequate housing before they're able to purchase a home through first-time home ownership programs. "The homes once we remodel them, we will be putting them on the rental side of GHC and we will have our in-house rules where you sign up for housing," Benavente said. "It will run roughly for $400 a month to rent one of those units once we get them renovated."

He adds running up against other government rules and regulations has been the biggest obstacle. Benavente and Senator Tina Muna Barnes are drafting legislation to authorize Land Management to transfer the ten abandoned houses to GHC. There are also plans for an additional 60 properties in the subdivision. Should the legislation pass, he estimates the timeframe for this project to span only a few months as infrastructure has been in place along with having several units already built.

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