By Monica Alonzo
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Although Dickey has met with groups of the disgruntled residents to stress the merits of the Habitat project, he has made little progress.
"But the project is going forward anyway," he says, "and I will attempt to continue to answer community concerns."
For instance, Dickey says residents can be assured that the yards of Habitat homes will be properly kept up and that maintenance rules will be strictly enforced by a Habitat homeowners' association.
In addition, Habitat doesn't let just anyone move into its homes. Prospective residents go through a screening process, and must prove they are able to make monthly payments on the property. Habitat reserves the right to reject tenants, and tends to favor young families with aspirations to better their lot in the world.
But such assurances don't seem to mollify Jackson or Sanchez, perhaps because there is more to their opposition to the Habitat development than concern over property values and mowed lawns. They are against the on-the-cheap homes because the concept, well . . . just galls them.
"We worked hard to get what little we have," Sanchez says. "We struggled and saved money. Why should someone come along and get something for nothing? Life doesn't work that way, and people need to learn that lesson."
"That's right," nods Jackson. "Ain't nobody ever given me anything. I've worked for it.
"And if those people want the right to live in my neighborhood," Jackson says, "they have to earn it, just like I did.