Habitat delays Grafton home project to focus on fundraising

Organization has raised only a fraction of the money it needs to start building
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Habitat for Humanity, Ozaukee, which was expected to build its second home in Grafton — its 11th house overall — this year, has announced it will not begin construction until 2019.

The agency still has a long way to go in fundraising for the units and recently received permission from the Village of Grafton to delay construction, Habitat Vice President Diana Eggold said.

“We’re about a year off,” she said. 

Habitat is building a duplex next to the single-family house it constructed on Columbia Road in Grafton in 2016. 

The organization hopes to put in the foundation for both sides of the side-by-side duplex, but only build one unit initially, Eggold said. Plans are for the second unit to be built soon after that.

“Ideally, we’d like to have both units done by the end of 2020,” she said.

The estimated cost of the project is $250,000, and Habitat needs to have $125,000 in hand to receive a construction loan and start the home.

One side of the duplex is being built in partnership with area churches as a Christian build, and seven county churches have agreed to support the project.

However, the other side requires corporate support.

Eggold said Habitat has raised about $39,000 of its $125,000 goal to build the first unit. The group is seeking a corporate sponsor and is working on a business campaign to raise funds, as well as planning a number of community fundraisers.

“It’s really intimidating,” she said.

The organization is looking at hosting a July raffle in addition to its Lakeshore Chinooks event that month. A late fall or early spring big-band event is also in the works.

In addition, the group is selling birdhouses at Maxwell Street Day in Cedarburg.

Habitat is also seeking a family for the new home, Eggold said.

To qualify, applicants must be residents of Ozaukee County who have an acceptable credit history, have been denied a conventional mortgage and make between 60% and 80% of the area’s median income.

But while Habitat is delaying work on the new home, the group is planning to make repairs to four homes in the county through its Brush With Kindness program this year.

Three of these projects will be done in Port Washington and one in Grafton, Eggold said.

 These projects typically cost from $2,500 to $4,000 each and range from installing handicapped ramps and retention walls to siding repairs and landscaping projects, Eggold said.

“We do these for people who don’t have the means to do them themselves,” she said, noting homeowners go through the same vetting process as used for Habitat houses.

When Habitat completes its Grafton projects, Eggold said, the organization has one more piece of land off Park Street in Port Washington to build on. It’s also eyeing another parcel in the city for a home.

“There’s definitely a need here in Ozaukee County,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity, which builds modest homes for families who pay a no-profit mortgage and provide sweat equity during construction began in Ozaukee County in 2000 and built its first home on North Park Street in Port Washington in 2003. The organization built eight homes in Port Washington before breaking ground for its Grafton house, then returned to Port for its 10th house.

Eggold said the group’s been fortunate to amass the resume it has locally.

“Small affiliates like us usually only build one house in three years,” she said, adding community support and the efforts of volunteers have made the group successful.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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