By Deborah Allard
Herald News Staff Reporter
Front, from left, Maria Torres, Diman Vocational Coordinator; Karen Parker, People Inc Director of Facilities; Megan Scheffer, People Inc COO; and Joy Harrington, People Inc Contract Supervisor; in back, Jeff Cabral, Diman senior Carpentry Instructor, Peter Daley, People Inc Spokesman, and Faust Fiore, Special Assistant to Mayor Jasiel Correia - Herald News Photo | Will Richmond
FALL RIVER — A single, foster mom of three children has her shot at moving out of her apartment and into her own home.
Donna Handler’s number was chosen by lottery Friday afternoon to purchase a home on Duluth Street built by the students of Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School
The house is being sold for $199,000, about $50,000 below the assessed value, through a cooperation between Diman, People Inc. and the Community Development Agency.
She’ll also get an additional $10,000 off the cost of the house through the city’s first-time homebuyer’s program.
“This would be a good opportunity for her,” said Joy Harrington, People Inc. contract supervisor. “She’s in an apartment now.”
The 1,600 sq. ft. single family house has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
Jeff Cabral, Diman senior carpentry instructor, said the students started on the house in September, and it will be finished by mid-June.
He said some finish work on the counters and plumbing is almost complete.
“It’s all experience,” Cabral said. “We need to teach the students. They need to learn. It’s the greatest learning experience they can have.”
Cabral said 24 carpentry
students helped build the house, along with students from plumbing
, building and property maintenance
, and HVAC
, totaling some 60 students.
Some of the students are graduating this year.
“I’m hoping the majority will stay in the trade and expand on their knowledge,” Cabral said.
Handler will have 30 days to get loan approval and close on the home.
Six people applied to purchase the house. They had to meet income and other guidelines to qualify. Four met the criteria and their names were put into a lottery.
Handler’s lucky number 103 was picked, followed by 102, 104, and 101. She was not present at the drawing.
“I think it’s a great idea for somebody in the area to be a first-time homebuyer,” said Megan Scheffer, People Inc. chief operating officer.