An affordable, brand new house. A beautiful neighborhood. The opportunity to help orphaned and abandoned children in Romania. If these things don't sound like they should go hand in hand, then you don't know Nick Groen Realty and Assist International.
Ten percent of the housing in every subdivision is mandated by law to be set aside for affordable housing. Nick Groen took that law a step further when he completely donated three, half-acre estate lots in his partnership's new development in Ripon to Assist International, a nonsectarian humanitarian organization dedicated to relieving human suffering around the world. Assist International is building three duplexes on the land to be sold in compliance with city and HUD regulation for affordable housing. The proceeds from the sale of the units will go to provide food, medical supplies and clothing to orphanages in Romania. "It's really a win-win situation," said Tom Groen, project foreman and nephew of Nick Groen. Satisfying both the letter and the spirit of the law, the situation is so "win-win" that the Groen-Assist International project is serving as a pilot program for several more such projects planned in Sonoma and Monterey Counties.
Tim Reynolds, Executive Director of Assist International, is pleased with the support the project has received. The land and architectural work was supplied in entirety by Nick Groen Realty, but materials and labor have been donated and sold at-cost by an assortment of other companies. Reynolds mentioned Dan Silveira Construction, Steve Shook Construction, and Standard Pacific Housing as companies that have sent labor crews to help put up the units. Tom Groen thanked Milgard Windows, Concrete Inc., TWE Inc., Idapack, Standard Pacific Housing, and Hansen Roofing for supplying materials.
The six units consist of three sets of duplexes, evenly divided between one- and two-story houses. They will provide 1700 square feet each of living space in one of Ripon's most beautiful -- and expensive -- neighborhoods. Located on Miriam Street, off Doak, near the Jack Tone Golf Course, the prices of the units will be influenced more by regional and HUD regulations than by the enticing surroundings. If the price is uncertain, the outcome of the situation isn't. Thanks to the efforts of Assist International and the generosity of Nick Groen Realty and many others, there will soon be six proud owners of beautiful homes in Ripon and six times that or more grateful children overseas.
On the web: www.assistintl.org
This article first appeared in the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin.
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