Great Falls, Montana – In just a few weeks, eight local families after a long year plus, of blood, sweat and tears will be able to say that they are homeowners. Yesterday, these families along with NeighborWorks, community partners and supporters celebrated this year’s addition of NeighborWorks’ Owner Built Homes program, marking 125 owner built homes in Great Falls.
These eight families embarked on NeighborWorks Great Falls’ Owner Built program last August and have been working 30 hours a week with volunteers for over a year to not only complete their home, but all eight families’ homes. A key piece of the program being that no one can move in until all the homes are completed. Through this program qualified buyers earn instant equity by working with a group of other families to help build one another’s homes. The labor earns each family around $10,000 in “sweat equity”, and jump starts their equity in their home once completed. A statement from Senator Tester read, “We know that with safe and affordable housing, it is easier to secure a good job, do better in school, and live a healthier life. NeighborWorks is leading the charge to change lives for the better and deliver that dream of homeownership to so many”.
While this program can easily be seen as “just more houses” in our community, NeighborWorks and these families know that it is so much more. NeighborWorks Executive Director, Sherrie Arey spoke to the crowd and to the families “A home is more than wood and paint, nails or beams. When these walls talk they will tell the stories of family, love, laughs and yes, even tears. The stories will cover not just years, but generations – holidays, birthdays and the small, seemingly insignificant nights at home in a safe place with the people you love. Homes are the backdrop to memories and traditions – and we’re so excited for you to start in this new journey.”
The homes still have a bit more work to do, but the homeowners are working hard to finish. The next build has already begun. To learn more about the program please visit our website: www.nwgf.org/ownerbuilthomes