Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity is holding the Dakota Blitz 3:10 in the West Fargo area. The project is partnered by the Blitz Home Builders organization, who selected the area for their next project. Pete Christopher, Resource Development and Marketing Manager, says this project has been in the works for over a year. He says there will be around 100 volunteers from 19 different states participating. Executive Director Jim Nelson says that volunteer work is rewarding.
“We’ll have volunteers here for the next ten days working on these three homes. As a part of that, our partnered families also are required to put 250 hours of sweat equity into their homes. They’re out here too, building these homes right along [side] our volunteers. What I always tell our volunteers, while they are out here working they might feel like they have aching joints and sore muscles, but when they walk away at the end of the day, they feel like a superhero.”
Nelson says that Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity provides a much-needed resource for the area.
“We found that there are over 13,000 families in Cass and Clay county that spend over 50% of their income on housing. What that results in is making them house poor, where they can’t afford proper health care for their families, they can't afford to feed their families, they can't afford a reliable automobile; that often ends up in unemployment, when they can't get to their job on time. It creates a spiral, a downward spiral. Habitat can break that spiral by providing an affordable home with an affordable mortgage. Our homeowners walk away with a mortgage at the end of this that meets their budget.”
Nelson says children that raised in an owned home as opposed to a rented home have a much better chance for success in school and work statistically. He says they want to serve all of North Dakota, but due to the funding, they are unable. He says that ten families qualified for a home this past year, but they were only able to build three.
The building started on June 19th and will run through June 29th.