Foundation for another Habitat project being laid

A group of local community leaders is joining forces with Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) to help a low-income family realize the dream of home ownership.

Members of the faith and business community have been meeting with staff from CMHFH to work on getting a project started.

CMHFH has sold houses to 11 families in the eastern Sherburne and Wright counties area.  The last families moved in 2010 and the organization’s leaders are excited to have another family to partner with here in Elk River.

As one family stated, “Habitat has impacted our family in a very big way. My kids have been able to have stability in their lives which has resulted in success in school.”

CMHFH partners with local leaders to help qualified families who earn 30–60 percent of the Area Median Income (which for a family of four is $25,150–$50,350 per year) purchase a house at no profit with a 0 percent mortgage. The families must attend 15 hours of homeowner education about money management and home maintenance, as well as complete 200 hours of sweat equity per applicant.

“We are excited to re-energize our community in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and transform the lives of local families through affordable home ownership,” said the Rev. Paul Johansson of Central Lutheran Church in Elk River.

Elk River resident Lanette has completed the education requirement and is over half-way done with her required sweat equity hours.

The next step in the process is to identify a lot to build on or a house to renovate for Lanette and her daughter.

The Elk River Project Leadership team is working with CMHFH to raise funds, procure donations of construction materials and skilled labor, recruit volunteers, publicize the project and help find families for future projects in the area.  The team is also looking for additional members to help organize and lead the project activity.

The group has a preliminary budget of $75,000–$100,000 for this project. The cost will vary depending if the group builds a new house or renovates an existing one. Either way it will be working with local construction companies to do the skilled trades, as well as revitalizing a neighborhood.

The group currently has $16,000 to go toward the project from a Wright County golf tournament.

Anyone interested in learning more about this project or helping out is asked to contact Johansson at 763-441-2363.

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