EAST BAY NON-PROFIT PROVIDES ANSWER TO INCREASING HOME PRICES THAT USUALLY DISQUALIFY FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

RICHMOND, CA, August 8, 2017 10:30AM — With this press conference and building tour Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) will present to the public the first of many new and refurbished Net Zero Energy Homes that will be offered to first-time homebuyers eager to buy an affordable home in the Bay Area.

“Finding housing that’s affordable is tough,” says Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, “even in a city like Richmond, which has typically been one of the more affordable cities in the Bay Area.  Finding an energy efficient home that is affordable is even more difficult, but we think we have found a solution.”

This newly constructed home, located at 1025 Florida Ave., is the first property RCF plans to build using GigaCrete technology. RCF is building another affordable home on 163 South 37th St. using the same GigaCrete technology to build faster, less expensively, but with all the elements of homes featured on HGTV.  These homes will feature energy efficient and water-saving appliances; insulated windows; heating and cooling systems that lower rates of asthma and upper respiratory diseases and technology-ready infrastructure.

Families who participate in SparkPoint Contra Costa’s First Time Homebuyer’s Program will be given priority to purchase these energy efficient homes.  If SparkPoint program participants do not elect to purchase these properties, the homes will be offered to all interested first-time homebuyers.

We invite the community to tour this new, efficient and affordable solution for homeownership.  Join Jim Becker, CEO of Richmond Community Foundation, Mayor Tom Butt of the City of Richmond, Raully Butler, Executive Vice President at Mechanics Bank and Gloria Scoggins community advocate and long-time Richmond.

Since launching in 2015, RCF’s Richmond Housing Renovation Program L.L.C. (an initiative of Richmond Community Foundation) has acquired 17 blighted properties and has refurbished and sold three homes exclusively to first-time homebuyers. At this time, two properties have been selected for new construction using GigaCrete green building technology. These next generation green building materials come in components, pre-engineered parts delivered to the building site as a complete set.  This allows homebuilders

to erect the structure (including the roof) with a smaller construction team, in days instead of months. The assembly requires minimal measuring and cutting and the completed house is more affordable than wood frame structures, it is immensely durable, engineered to withstand winds up to 200 m.p.h. and earthquakes rated for Zone 4. To add to this home’s appeal, it will be a Zero Net Energy House, which means it will produce the energy it uses — a big affordability assist for first-time homeowners.

“RCF has made the commitment to provide the highest level of green efficiency in our new, replacement homes,” says Jim Becker, President and CEO of RCF. “We want to show the world that green efficiency makes sense for houses in affordable neighborhoods, and is not just a feature of luxury homes. Going green makes more sense if everyone does it.”

“We’re proud to be a part of this innovative program, and we applaud this innovative approach to producing affordable housing,” says Rauly Butler, Executive Vice President, Mechanics Bank. Funding for the program comes from special zero-interest, no-coupon bonds issued by the City of Richmond that were purchased by Mechanics Bank. These allow RCF to acquire blighted properties to rehabilitate or replace and sell.

For more information go to: https://richmondcf.org/community-initiatives/community-development/richmond-housing-renovation-program/