Habitat for Humanity finishes 2020 build, seeks next family

Muscatine County Area Habitat for Humanity's completed 2020 house build.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–2020 has proved challenging for everyone, and Muscatine County Area Habitat for Humanity has faired no differently. Despite the obstacles they faced to building this year’s home, they successfully completed it and have sold it to the family that helped build it. They now look forward to continuing the mission by seeking a family for their 2021 build.

According to Muscatine County Area Habitat for Humanity Secretary Judy Brotherton, volunteer shortages proved one of the greatest barriers to this year’s build. While the family that buys the house must put in 300 hours of labor on the house, it takes many more volunteers to finish it. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, finding volunteers proved even more difficult. Scheduling inspectors also grew difficult. At times, supplies ran short, delaying the building process even more.

Despite all these setbacks, Habitat for Humanity completed the home late this fall, to the delight of its new owners. “They love it,” reported Brotherton, adding that one of the daughters in the family, “told her mom she was happy to have a forever home.”

Currently, Habitat for Humanity plans to begin their next home build in spring of 2021. In order to get the process underway, they invite families in the county seeking affordable housing to apply. In order to qualify, families must meet certain income requirements that will allow them to make monthly mortgage and utility payments. They must also commit to taking a homeownership class provided by the City of Muscatine as well as assisting with the building of the house. Anyone interested in applying should call Habitat for Humanity at (563) 263-7382 for additional information.

Habitat for Humanity also welcomes new volunteers to join their efforts. Anyone ages 16 and up may assist with building and will receive the training they need on the job.