Chicanos Por La Causa hands the keys over to first-time homeowners

RIO RICO, Ariz. (KGUN) — There are several new homeowners in the Southern Arizona community.

Chicanos Por La Causa said it was more important than ever to continue the self-help program during the pandemic. The nonprofit organization handed the keys over to seven first-time homeowners after nearly a year of building.

“The more homeowners and stable households we can create, then the better the community can succeed,” said Lydia Aranda, president of Chicanos Por La Causa in Southern Arizona.

Among those given the helping hand was the Laris family.

“They’re finally going to have a place to run around,” said German Laris.

While exploring the new home they helped build, Laris said the year-long experience even encouraged him to make some changes.

“Obviously none of us were experienced in it when we started, but it was quite the learning curve. I actually liked it so much that I ended up doing it for a living. I changed my career so now I do framing,” said Laris.

After six years of renting, they are ready to settle in and work toward their future.

“The fact that we’re not spending our money on rent anymore. It’s a small investment and even if it’s not the house of your dreams it’s definitely a place to start,” said Laris.

Chicanos Por La Causa said while this year they faced challenges presented by the pandemic— like supply hiccups, vandalism, and weather —they overcame them.

“During the pandemic and COVID times, it has been important to us that we’ve been able to maintain the momentum of because it is such an unprecedented time— now going into the housing shortage too this is an exciting, positive story,” said Aranda.

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