Habitat for Humanity of Mid-Iowa kicks off project in Traer

TRAER – Neil Armstrong famously described landing on the moon as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” For local residents and organizers, a new project is hopefully that first step in improving area communities one property at a time.

Habitat for Humanity of Mid-Iowa has started a complete repair project of the blighted property located at 632 Woodlawn in Traer. A ceremonial passing of the key was held recently at the home with the presentation of the key and a $20,000 grant provided by Wells Fargo to get the project rolling.

The house, which has long been considered an eyesore for local residents, is the first project in Tama County since the county was added to the affiliate service area along with Beaman and Conrad (in Grundy County). The project will be headed by a 12-member board that includes representatives from all walks of life across local towns.

Locally, Jared Bauch of Traer, Dwayne Luze of Dysart, Mike Wentzien of Gladbrook and Yvonne Mallory of Toledo are all members who will help move the project forward. Now the search begins for a qualified family to occupy what will become a modern, clean and safe home.

Work on the Woodlawn house will be completed in phases, addressing a wide range of structural and cosmetic deficiencies including (but not limited to) siding, windows, mold remediation, updating of the electrical system and more.

Families for Habitat for Humanity homes are selected based on their current housing need, willingness to provide work on the home and having adequate income to support mortgage payments. Families typically provide 350 hours of work – the ubiquitous “sweat equity” – along with 12 hours of financial counseling and related home ownership education.

In addition to the selection of a family, there is still a great need to get the project to completion. Volunteers are needed for physical work, local tradesman are needed to donate their expertise and funding from corporate and private partners is always welcome. Community volunteers have been the foundation of Habitat for Humanity’s mission for nearly four decades.

Members of Mid-Iowa Habitat for Humanity were first organized as their own non-profits covering Jasper, Marshall and Poweshiek counties in 1994. They merged in 2012 and added Tama County in 2014. As a whole, Mid-Iowa Habitat has completed 32 new or repaired home projects, eight critical repair projects on owner-occupied homes, two community-wide Brush with Kindness external cleanup projects and 12 partial or total deconstruction projects for clearing lots of properties.

The Traer project joins a host of other properties across the area, including two donated homes in Marshalltown and State Center, as well as three owner-occupied repair projects in Newton and Grinnell.

To learn more about the project and how to help with financial assistance, commercial expertise or personal time, contact the Habitat for Humanity of Mid-Iowa at (641) 751-5077 or midiowahabitat@marshallnet.com.