Habitat Clovis project near completion

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Habitat for Humanity volunteer Charles Tosh paints in the second bedroom of the second Habitat home being built on Cameo Street in Clovis. Tosh, a retired railroad worker, said he helps with whatever he can.

Argen Duncan

With the completion of its newest house in Clovis nearing, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Roosevelt and Curry counties are looking ahead to Portales projects.

Executive Director Joyce Davis estimated workers would finish the house at 1625 Cameo St. in Clovis in three to four weeks.

Randi Hales of Clovis and her two sons are the prospective residents. Hales said her partnership with Habitat had been a wonderful experience and she and her children were excited about the new house.

“We have plans for the whole backyard already, for their pool and their trampoline,” Hales said.

She said she appreciated the Habitat volunteers, some of whom her boys had grown attached to.

By the first of September, Davis hopes to start more work in Portales. Habitat leaders are considering building two houses at once.

Frank and Hope Stroud’s family is next in line for a house, and Sonja Dunlap has been selected as well.

“The benefit is that it’s like putting money in the bank,” Frank Stroud said of owning his own house.

As a homeowner, Stroud said, he wouldn’t have to give money to someone else and risk the landlord selling the house and forcing his family to move.

“It’s more stability and security for me and my family,” he said.

Stroud and his wife have six children and all but one still live at home.

“God’s taking care of us and helping us take care of the kids,” Stroud said of the family’s partnership with Habitat.

Davis said Habitat has the land for two homes and building both at once would likely save money when hiring contractors and ordering materials. She is also concerned about national building codes.

“There are just lots of challenges with those new building codes once they’re accepted,” she said.

Updated codes are expected to require fire-supression sprinkler systems in the ceilings of all new buildings, Davis said. While the city of Portales hasn’t accepted those codes, she is concerned the city could be forced to adopt them in the future.

Davis said the sprinkler systems would not only add $3,000 to $4,000 to the cost of a Habitat home, but they also couldn’t be tested without ruining the house, and leaks would cause major problems.

As for the Portales prospective homeowners, Davis said the Strouds and Dunlap are delightful people and have all finished the volunteer work they must complete before construction starts on their houses.

“They’ve been working hard with us,” she said.