Family Of Five Is Habitat's Pick For House Number Six

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L.A. Jacquez's doctor has been telling his parents they need to find a new home for their 3-year-old asthmatic son --one designed specifically with his asthma and allergies in mind.

With finances tight, and a fourth child on the way, Adam and Thea Jacquez have been struggling to find a way to follow the doctor's orders.

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity provided them a solution.

Thursday night, the Habitat board of directors selected the Jacquezes for its next family partnership, based on the recommendation by PAHH's family selection committee.

"We are ecstatic," Thea Jacquez said. "We really didn't think we'd get it. It's just hard to believe."

The Jacquezes moved to the Rim country about 1 1/2 years ago from St. David with their three children, Ashley, 5; Adam "L.A." Jr., 3; and Alexez, 2. Adam works for MDC Roofing.

"The Jacquez family emerged as finalists after a long selection procedure involving many applicants," said PAHH secretary Judy Berger.

The selection process included an initial application, home visits by the selection committee, and checks into landlord, employment history and credit.

The Jacquezes and PAHH will form a partnership to build the home, "offering a hand up, not a hand out," said a PAHH press release. The family, their friends and co-workers will help perform the required 500 hours of sweat equity, which can be accomplished by working on their house when the time comes, working on the house that is currently being built, or by assisting in fund-raising projects, around the PAHH office or with any public relations projects.

They'll also need to come up with the $1,000 needed for closing costs when ownership of their house is transferred to them. Their monthly, no-interest mortgage payment will also include an escrow account to cover taxes, insurance and the establishment of a maintenance fund.

Before construction begins on the house, however, PAHH and the Jacquezes face a few challenges. The first challenge is finding a lot for the home, one that PAHH can buy, or preferably have donated for its sixth house.

"The second challenge is one of patience," Berger said. PAHH's fourth house, for the Jaime Silva family, is nearing completion, after which PAHH begins construction of house number five for the Gary McNeil family in late April or early May.

The final challenge is coming up with a house that meets the doctor's orders for L.A. Jacquez. The doctor will be included in the planning sessions, Berger said.

"Mainly, we have to plan this house without any carpeting at all," Thea Jacquez said. "Because of his severe allergies, dust or anything from the carpet can trigger an attack."

In addition to no carpeting, Jacquez said, her home will have to be planned with specific heating and ventilation systems that can use hypoallergenic materials. That planning, though, is still a few months off.

To help PAHH with any of their projects, or to donate a piece of land for the Jacquezes' home, contact PAHH president Fran Doering at 474-8970 or site selection chairman Mark Monty at 472-9366.

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