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Habitat For Humanity Kicks Off Construction Of 4 Homes In El Cajon

Photo caption: Habitat for Humanity volunteers build a house on Foundation Lane in El Cajon,...

Photo by Dwane Brown

Habitat for Humanity volunteers build a house on Foundation Lane in El Cajon, June 22, 2015.

Around 200 volunteers Monday began helping Habitat for Humanity with a home-building blitz in San Diego's East County, hoping to construct four houses in five days for needy families.

"It really is all about the families. This is why we do what we do. It's to put our families into homes," said Habitat for Humanity chief construction officer Ken Kosman.

The effort is being supported in part by a $50,000 donation from the foundation of auto racing champion Jimmie Johnson, which was matched by the Lowe's home improvement store chain. Johnson, an El Cajon native, is scheduled to appear at the site Tuesday.

Photo by Dwane Brown

One of the homes built by Habitat for Humanity on Foundation Lane in El Cajon in 2009.

Habitat for Humanity in 2009 built a couple of 1,300-square-foot houses on Foundation Lane in El Cajon, and these next four are being constructed on the same street. By late morning Monday, the framing was completed on the first floor of one of the structures.

The project also received financial support from the city of El Cajon and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Balfour Beatty Construction, Clark Construction, McCarthy Builders and RQ Construction are helping out with the effort, according to Habitat for Humanity.

The new homes will be sold to families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity's selection criteria — which includes a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage and willingness to put in 250-500 hours of "sweat equity" by working on their homes and residences of other Habitat families.

"People think these homes are given to them, it's not, they pay a zero percent equivalent mortgage so they earn their homes and they pay for them and that helps pay it forward to the next houses that we build," Kosman said.

You can watch the build take place on San Diego Habitat for Humanity's livestream.

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