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Habitat for Humanity to build five homes in 20th year of operation

FARGO - Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity will celebrate its 20th year in operation by building five homes this year, including the group's first in Barnesville, Minn.

FARGO - Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity will celebrate its 20th year in operation by building five homes this year, including the group's first in Barnesville, Minn.

Habitat Executive Director Shirley Dykshoorn on Monday said the group will also build:

  • A single-family home in West Fargo, sponsored by Women Build.
  • A single-family home in Fargo, sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
  • A duplex in West Fargo, sponsored by the Eastern Dakota Housing Alliance.

Dykshoorn said more than 150 families applied for this year'shomes, "which is pretty amazing and demonstrates a real need for housing" in the area.
The nonprofit group is also looking to expand its fundraising through the "Carpenter's Club" program, which allows donors to pledge a monthly gift to the affordable-housing program.

Construction starts on the first home in May and continues through December, Dykshoorn said.

Habitat has built 40 homes in and around Fargo-Moorhead in the past 20 years. Each home requires about $60,000 to pay for materials and skilled labor costs, plus 4,000 hours of volunteer effort.

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Each adult in a partner family must contribute 250 hours of sweat equity toward Habitat projects. The families carry a zero percent mortgage, typically of $105,000 to $109,000, Dykshoorn said.

"A Habitat home is not a free house. It's a hand-up," Dykshoorn said. "What we're doing is transforming lives."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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