Masonry contractors and suppliers team up to maximize home ownership and masonry's presence in Tucson: the Balboa Casitas, a 15-lot subdivision of concrete block homes with zero lot lines.

Several local masonry contractors volunteered for the Balboa Casitas subdivision, including Desert Masonry, Cox Masonry, and B&B Masonry. There were also block producers providing support, such as Young Block and Omni Block, and G&W Masonry Supplies donated materials.

Of all possible charities, Habitat for Humanity is arguably the most logical candidate for masonry-industry involvement. In the past few years, more and more contractors and suppliers have formed partnerships with local affiliates of this international organizations, which has helped 100,000 working poor families realize the dream of owning their own home.

A typical Habitat for Humanity home has less than 1200 square feet of living space, yet you can have four bedrooms. They're basically starter homes, with an interest-free mortgage based on the cost of building the home. The typical Habitat home in Tucson costs the homeowner $65,000, or $350 per month over the life of the mortgage—including taxes and insurance.

Masonry contractors and suppliers in other locales can learn from the industry synergy in Tucson. For more information, contact the Arizona Masonry Guild (602-265-5999), or visit