Habitat for Humanity Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony in Columbia Falls

By Beacon Staff

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley is holding a groundbreaking ceremony today to commemorate eight homes being built in Columbia Falls.

The groundbreaking begins at 11 a.m. at 2 and 4 Mitchell Way. The homes are being funded in part by a $360,000 federal grant received by the city through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Program and managed jointly by the City of Columbia Falls and Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley.

“With its small town values of neighborliness, Columbia Falls has been a perfect partner. Children of habitat families are able to walk to school and parents find it easier to raise their family in a close-knit community,” Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director, Christine Morris said in a statement. “The city should be commended for its commitment to make affordable housing available for Flathead Valley families.”

The two families receiving the homes will be in attendance as well as members of Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors, Family Selection Committee, and several key volunteers and sponsors, including representatives from Thrivent Financial Group, Insured Titles, First Interstate Bank and Parkside Federal Credit Union. The City of Columbia Falls’ City Manager Susan Nicosia will also be in attendance with several other city officials.

Habitat for Humanity’s Columbia Falls Affordable Housing project is a 16-unit townhome development. Construction began on the project in May 2011 and will be completed in March 2013. By using volunteer labor and donations from local and national building material suppliers, Habitat for Humanity is able to keep the cost of construction low.

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley was established in 1989 with the mission of eliminating substandard housing. Due to rapid population growth, an increase in property values and stagnant income levels, the need for affordable housing in the Flathead Valley has increased over the last two decades, according to the organization. According to U.S. Census data, HFHFV estimates that over 1,000 Flathead Valley families currently live in substandard housing. HFHFV has built 40 homes to date and empowered 40 families to transition out of substandard housing and into safe, decent and affordable homes of their own. Habitat selects families and/or individuals based on their need, ability to pay a 30-year, no-interest mortgage and on their willingness to partner with the organization.

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