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Creating Doors of Opportunity: Ten Neighbors Build Their Homes Together

After 16 months full of unpredictable roadblocks, 10 neighbors finally completed their Owner Built Homes and are ready to move in! Week after week, month after month, these neighbors continued to persevere and build not only their own but each other’s homes. Their hard work and dedication have paid off as they plan to call Meriwether Crossing home.

This week, we commemorated these neighbors’ accomplishments with a small celebration to welcome them not only to the neighborhood but also to the NeighborWorks family. Bryan Buckridge, one of the builders, shared a part of his story, stating “I’ve been renting for the last ten years, so pretty much my entire adult life. I cannot wait to have a space I can call mine. We finally get to reap the benefits of what we’ve been working so hard for and we’ve built a close-knit neighborhood that is unlike any other.” As of 2021, 145 neighbors have built their dream of homeownership through the Owner Built Homes Program in Great Falls.

NeighborWorks Great Falls’ Owner Built Homes Program is part of the national Mutual Self Help Housing program, funded by USDA Rural Development. Neighbors who qualify for the program earn “sweat equity” by building their own and each other’s homes, which is the key for keeping these homes affordable. Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, these 10 neighbors continued to push forward and build a future of stability, freedom, independence, and wealth. Georgette Cope, mother of three and soon-to-be homeowner stated, “Homeownership to me means freedom. Freedom to be myself. Freedom to be loud, to be quiet. To paint my walls whacky colors, to have my kids over and just be fun and be ourselves. This is truly freedom.”

Learn more about the Owner Built Homes Program.

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