Habitat for Humanity builds houses in South Lincoln County

Twenty five years ago, a group of community-minded people formed a Habitat for humanity Affiliate for South Lincoln County.  The goal for Habitat for Humanity is to provide a “hand up, not a hand out” for all people who need decent, affordable housing.  Habitat homes are not free houses. Our homeowner partners must be in need of adequate shelter, must be able to afford the low cost mortgage, and have income that falls within the HUD low income guidelines for Lincoln County, and must be willing to partner by helping build their own home with the required “sweat equity” hours, and help with other Habitat for Humanity projects in the community. Partners also need to attend a financial literacy training course to become informed about the financial responsibilities of home ownership.

Over the years Habitat for Humanity and our partners have built 11 homes in our community. Two of these homes are now paid off and mortgage free. We are now building the 12th home which will be completed this summer.  We plan to build the next home in 2023.  In alternate years, we have done minor home repair projects for people who own their own homes.

How can you apply for a Habitat for Humanity home? Although the next build will not be until 2023, we would like to have the family selection process completed by January of 2022. We will begin taking applications on October 1st, and close the application period by November 15th.  Applications will be available online at our website (http//kootenaihabitat.org) or at Libby and Troy libraries and food pantries, and at the State of Montana Public Assistance office.

We also plan to do a “Brush with Kindness” or minor home repair project in 2022, and will be taking applications for that starting this October. To qualify for this project, the applicant must be the homeowner and meet all of the other qualifications for Habitat for Humanity.

How are Habitat for Humanity projects paid for? They are paid for by mortgage loan repayments from homeowner partners, by labor provided by the homeowner partners and volunteers, by financial contributions from businesses and individuals, and by fund raising events such as STOKR (Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River) bike rides.

We are now building a home in Libby. If you are interested in volunteering, and are over 16 years old, please visit our Facebook page (Kootenai Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity 2021 Build). No previous skill or experience are required.  If you are willing to learn, we will teach you!  Our email address is habitat.libby.org@gmail.com, and our mailing address is PO Box 19, Libby, Montana 59923.

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