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Surprise gets extra funds for low-income home program

PHOENIX — The West Valley is getting some extra cash, thanks to the East Valley.

Surprise, Ariz., is getting $125,000 from a consortium it belongs to that has U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-issued funding to provide decent housing for low- and moderate-income families.

“We received additional funding that the city of Gilbert decided not to use,” said Christina Ramirez, a neighborhood services supervisor for Surprise. “Gilbert returned the money to the consortium, which then gave an opportunity for a smaller city, such as ours, that doesn’t receive that much funding on a yearly basis. Because of this, we were able to almost double our allotment this year.”

Ramirez said that the city then works with nonprofits, like Habitat for Humanity, to provide homes. Many times those homes are built on land already owned by the family.

“We’ll either do major rehabilitation to an existing home of if that home cannot be feasibly rehabilitated, then we will replace it with a newly constructed home,” said Ramirez.

Four families are already on a waiting list and hoping that the funding will help them build a place to call home.