The Rescue Mission of Utica broke ground on its Small House initiative in West Utica on Wednesday..

The first of three homes will be built at 1014 Noyes Street.

This year's class of 13 students in the Mission's Skills For Success Program, which trains residents in construction skills, has already pre-fabricated all of the walls for the first three houses.

Executive Drector Jim Haid says the houses will be a rent-to-own opportunity for low income families.  Haid says the homes will be occupied by the end of the year.

"We are proud of our many partners who have embraced this initiative, to provide newly constructed, smaller homes for those hardworking residents, of our community, who might not otherwise be able to obtain a piece of the "American Dream" i.e. homeownership; simply because they do not earn enough to qualify for traditional financing methods, yet nonetheless, hold onto that dream" said Haid.

Over 40 students have enrolled in the college credited, state certified program in its first three years.

The Skills for Success Program is a partnership between the Rescue Mission, the City of Utica, Mohawk Valley Community College and the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties,

For further information on the Skills for Success program or to enroll in this summer's class, you can visit the Mission's website at Uticamission.org

Jim Rondenelli, WIBX