Over the last 10 days, and under the direction of Blitz Home Builders, four homes in Show-Me Habitat's Boone Prairie subdivision are about halfway finished, four are 95% finished and volunteer builders and homeowners even got an additional two homes framed up.
Four of the selected Blitz Build families will receive the keys to their homes in the coming days. The other four will receive keys in a month or so after plumbing, electrical and HVAC contractors finish their work, the homes are inspected and interiors are completed. Homeowners put in roughly 250 hours of work into their new homes.
"I have always wanted a forever home for my kids. When I rented, I never was able to get comfortable, so I never even put stuff up on the walls because I know we'll eventually have to go," Amanda, one of the chosen homeowners, said last week, adding that one of the first things she aims to put up in her new home is a family portrait. "The kids will be at peace and be comfortable and have their own space."
All of the partner families are in an online group chat and were able to celebrate successes through that medium throughout the 10 days, said Ashley Switzer, Show-Me Habitat community outreach director.
"Every time we put in a roof, put in a door, put up cabinets," Switzer said she sends out a message. "All of the families are so excited, sharing in each other's joy."
Through Habitat programs and home financing, it actually puts money back into the community for those seeking housing assistance, said Austin View, Show-Me Habitat executive director. It is something he calls compound giving.
"Habitat builds four to five homes every year. We have done an entire year's worth of work in 10 days," he said. "... As families pay back their mortgage we finance and service, every payment they make goes into building their neighbor's house. Every house builds at least one more house"
New Show-Me Habitat homeowners also were previously on some form of housing assistance before getting their Habitat home, View said. So, the money in those programs now can go to the next family in need.
"Out of these 30 homes (in the subdivision) that will be complete, that frees up $26,000 for other people in the community. Once 143 houses are done, that's $380,000 that is freed up," View said.
Boone Prairie, once completed will have 143 homes. Show-Me Habitat aims to increase how many homes can be finished in the coming years so it doesn't take upward of 20 years to get all the homes completed. The first home in the subdivision was completed — where keys were handed over to the homeowner — in December 2021.
Blitz Builds would not be possible without the staff and nationwide volunteers with Blitz Home Builders. Roy Zaborowski, president, explained why he and other staff and volunteers do what they do.
"We want to raise awareness for the need for low-cost housing, to broaden an organization's sponsorship base and to encourage more community volunteerism," he said.
The Boone Prairie subdivision is in Columbia's Third Ward and its city council member, Roy Lovelady, acknowledged all of those who put in the effort to volunteer and help build over the last 10 days. He also recognized the new homeowners.
"Projects like this are important because Columbia is endeavoring to increase affordable housing," he said. "Show-Me Habitat's work allows families to put roots in Columbia, provide stability and build strong community."
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Subscribe to support vital local journalism.
This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity completes Blitz Build in Columbia