Building to meet a need

Photos by Roxy Stienblock/Plainsman Above: Dustin Mattke, left, and Dick Olson cut boards Saturday while working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Huron. Below: The living room of the home being finished by Habitat for Humanity in Huron.

Habitat for Humanity finishing home in Huron

HURON — You may have noticed the house on the corner of Center and Pennington street that has stood vacant for three years as Habit for Humanity has not had a qualified applicant. HFH now has plans to have the home finished by July or August.

“This house is a little unusual for a Habitat house as this was a factory built home, Superior Homes out of Watertown gave us this house,” said Paul Hilgedick, who is on the board of Habitat for Humanity and is in charge of the home.

“We have been working on it for about a year, mostly on Saturdays with all volunteer labor,” noted Hilgedick.

They have made some altercations to the home as they have made a laundry room on the main floor and have finished the basement. When the home is complete it will be move-in ready, with two bedrooms on the main floor and a full bathroom. When they started the basement it was just a plain concrete slab and they have since added walls with sheet rock, hooked up the furnaces, and installed electrical outlets and lights. The basement now has a family room, two rooms, a full bathroom, and utility room.

“Habitat For Humanity’s program is that the volunteers build the homes and sell the house to the homeowner on a zero percent interest loan, and basically what we are selling them is the materials to make the home,” Hilgedick said.

HFH is a nonprofit housing organization that works by building and improving homes in partnership with individuals and families in need of a decent and affordable place to live.

“We have had probably 40 different people help on this house so far, there has been various groups that have provided labor to us,” Hilgedick said.

Volunteers working on the home Saturday also included Jeff Decker, Dick Olson and Dustin Mattke.

To qualify for a HFH home you have to meet certain criteria, such as the owner unable to qualify for a loan from the bank and have good credit with the ability to repay the mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

“Homes like this usually sell for $158,000 on the open market, but if the person keeps current on their payment plans, by the end the cost of a $158,000 home will cost $90,000,” Hilgedick explained.

Hilgedick said they have to have a qualified applicant before they can start working on a house. “This is the third Habitat house I have done in Huron,” Hilgedick said.

Since 2000, this will be the seventh house HFH has built for families that need them.

“The first house we built in 2002, the family will own free and clear by December,” he added. “I don’t know what that house will appraise for, but my guess is around $180,000 and they bought the house for $55,000.”

“Its a great program, we just wish we could do more but we have difficulty getting qualified applicants,” added Hilgedick.

HFH is looking for volunteers, and you don’t have to be a carpenter or electrician to help. They are looking for painters, or anyone willing to pick up a hammer and help.

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