The second phase of Kanab’s Mesa Hills subdivision opened June 25, celebrating the six young families who now have gorgeous new homes to call their own. Congratulations to Richard and Eva Raddatz, Shaun and Mary Smith, Nicolas and Jennifer Berrie, Larry and Joy Downen, Ashley Howels, and Keith and Angela Franklin.

But these hard-working people, now moving into beautiful, well-constructed homes, didn’t get any free handouts. Their new residences were earned the old-fashioned way – through blood, sweat, tears – and a heck of a lot of hard work!

Ty Tippets, Executive Director for Color Country Community Housing (CCCH), said his agency focuses on helping families in rural areas. The ‘sweat equity’ project provides assistance to motivated potential homeowners on getting into their first home based on hard work, and cooperation between them, the agency, and the other home builders. He recognized the City of Kanab, and specifically City Attorney Van Mackelprang, for help in legalities concerned with zoning and setting up the project in both phases.

Kanab City Mayor Nina Laycook congratulated the new residents, “We’re grateful for you, the homeowners. You’ve stretched yourself through this experience. We’re proud of you.”

CCCH Special Programs Manager Dotti Higley explained the self-help program as ‘intense,’ and then explained how close she has become with the new residents. She said the families had worked together, and relationships have been forged and friendships formed. “You guys have touched my life,” said Higley.

David Conine, USDA Rural Development State Director, said the project was the culmination of a tremendous amount of work on the cooperating agencies’ part, but mainly the hard-working new homeowners. He praised the program for creating jobs in the community. “This project is a federal program driven at a local level. It (the program) helps families build wealth, as well as learn new skills,” said Conine.

A ribbon cutting ceremony followed, and the Kanab’s newest residents were allowed to move into their brand new homes.