FARGO - Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity will build a new house this summer at the corner of 10th Street and 10th Avenue North, providing a home for a mother and daughter and filling an empty lot in this neighborhood of small older homes and apartments near Roosevelt Elementary School.
The groundbreaking for the single-story rambler-style home at 922 10th St. N. was held this afternoon.
It will be one of three Habitat projects this year in the Fargo-Moorhead area, said Pete Christopher, a Lake Agassiz Habitat spokesman.
The other two Habitat homes are in south Moorhead. One project is a home rehabilitation, and the other is a new home near S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School, he said.
The home for Tenille Brackins and her daughter will cost $120,000 to build. Like all Habitat homes, the family must pay the mortgage, which is interest-free. Plus, everyone over the age of 18 in the family must put in 250 hours of sweat equity in Habitat projects, Christopher said.
“It’s definitely not a free house,” he said.
The wall-raising for the home will be July 27, which kicks off a “blitz week” to get the exterior walls and roof enclosed, he said.
Brackins was not at the groundbreaking due to work commitments.
“This is a nice infill lot,” Fargo Deputy Mayor Mike Williams said.
There are 20,000 jobs in the downtown area, he said. If a person can walk to work, that saves $9,000 a year for transportation -- enough to pay the mortgage payments, he said.
“We need to continue to build homes that are attainable,” Williams said. “Where you choose to live really makes a difference.”
Clay Dietrich, president of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, said affordable housing is needed.
The HBA regularly sponsors Habitat projects and its members contribute to the projects, Dietrich and Christopher said.
Dietrich said building 100 single-family homes generates $13.4 million in new income for local businesses and workers in the first year. It also creates 295 jobs in a community in the first year.
Christopher said Habitat gets five to six calls a day asking about housing, but can only take on three home projects this year. Three projects are also planned for 2016.. He said the agency welcomes donations of lots or homes that can be rehabilitated, construction material, and volunteers.
“It’s a great way for a business or an individual to leave a legacy,” Christopher said.
Rob Rich, executive director of the local chapter, said affordable housing lifts up families and cities.
“We are breaking the cycle of poverty,” he said.
Also part of the groundbreaking was a proclamation declaring June as Homeownership Month in the metro area.