North Bay nonprofit plans housing factory to build affordable homes

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 is committed to building a Better Bay Area, where the need for affordable housing has reached critical levels for families trying to make ends meet.

In the North Bay, one nonprofit is taking a unique approach by creating its own housing factory to actually build affordable homes.

Jasmine Palmer never dreamed she and her daughters would ever have home of their own.

"My daughters and I were sharing a room at my mom's house until I could get back on my feet, housing was almost impossible," said Palmer.

On Wednesday, she has a home thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County, she got the keys last year.

"It gave me a whole new level of confidence and increased my self esteem," Palmer said.

There are 100 families like Jasmine who are still on Habitat's waiting list. One reason why the nonprofit is doing something bold.

Habitat for Humanity's interim CEO John Kennedy showed us the huge 30,000 square foot space they just leased in Rohnert Park, soon to be a one-stop-shop housing factory.

"The best part of this space, we have to ability to receive wood, insulation and drywall for home construction," said Kennedy.

Volunteers and students from Santa Rosa Jr. College will learn a trade by using technology to design pre-fab walls and roofing. Habitat hopes to go from building 15 affordable homes per year to building 60.

Habitat says it plans to get the facility up and running by summer. It plans to complete other affordable homes currently under construction by August.

Jasmine Palmer hopes the new facility will bring the joy of home ownership to others like her living in the expensive Bay Area.

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