Habitat for Humanity of North Central Iowa celebrated the completion of their 51st Habitat house in north Iowa, located at 1080 Grove Avenue in Garner, IA. A small outside gathering was held on Thursday, July 30, 2020 for the friends and family of new homeowner, Mara Bierbrodt-Gayken and her 5 children, as well as the Habitat Board of Directors, key volunteers, and staff. Guests toured the home in small groups and shared a house blessing for the family.
This home was sponsored by the sales generated in the ReStore, as well as generous donations from the City of Garner, Winnebago Industries, Iowa Mold Tooling, Midwest Construction, Crown Point Builders, and Grieman Construction.
“We are extremely proud that through the donations and shoppers at the ReStore we are able to sponsor another home.” said Brian Lewerke, ReStore Manager.
The Habitat ReStore sells new and gently-used home improvement items as well as items like furniture, housewares, tools, appliances, sporting goods, exercise equipment, and paint. The merchandise is donated by local individuals and businesses, and is available for purchase at discounted prices by the public at the ReStore location at 517 First Street NW in Mason City. The store is open every Tuesday through Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 4:00pm.
The Bierbrodt-Gayken family has completed their required hours of “sweat equity” to build the house, and they are excited to move into the home at the beginning of August. Mara works as a Job Developer at 43 North Iowa and has five children ranging from 5 to 14 years old.
Habitat for Humanity serves local residents who are in need of safe and affordable housing, but who are unable to qualify for a traditional bank loan. Habitat raises the money needed to build the homes, and then provides low interest loans to qualified applicants with affordable monthly payments spread out over typically 30-35 year terms. The homes are primarily built by volunteers, along with the future homeowners, in order to keep the purchase cost affordable for the families. The low monthly payments that Habitat receives, makes up about 10% of their budget and goes into the “Fund for Humanity” to help to build future homes.
Habitat volunteers and staff are currently renovating two homes in Mason City, and hope to begin another homeownership project later this year in Mason City. Habitat also has a home repair program and installs aluminum modular ramps throughout Habitat’s six-county service area.