Habitat for Humanity is currently taking on its largest project to date: Habitat 20/10 is attempting to build 10 houses in 20 days for families in need.
“Habitat for Humanity was offered the opportunity to purchase the land and decided the best way to transform the property would be a blitz build format,” said Jenna Nathan, Habitat’s corporate outreach manager.
The block on which these houses are being built was once a softball field and has been abandoned for several years.
Applications were accepted for the new neighborhood and potential owners were selected by the Habitat for Humanity staff.
New homeowners must be applicable to the three-step method, which includes need, willingness to partner and their ability to pay.
All accepted applicants must put in 400 hours of sweat equity—working on their future home and neighborhood—as well as courses on financial management, home management and how to be a good neighbor.
These houses are extremely affordable becuase of the 20-year, no-interests mortgages and volunteer labor.
More than 3,000 volunteers donated time and effort to the project in the East Village of downtown Des Moines.
“Over 80 percent is volunteer-based work,” Nathan said. “We had to hire a subcontractor in order to have a state license. Habitat paid for workers such as plumbers and electricians, but many donated their time and materials to the development.”
A groundbreaking ceremony took place on June 3, but construction did not continue until Sept. 13. Habitat’s closing ceremony and 10 house dedications will take place Oct. 2.
Habitat 20/10 added $1 million in affordable housing to the Des Moines community.
Photos: Connor McCourtney