New Housing Solutions

GDM Habitat: Blitz Build on Dean Avenue

New Housing Solutions

Just a few months ago, the 2400 block of Dean Avenue on the East Side of Des Moines was an abandoned, overgrown parking lot, but through the contributions of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity’s (GDM Habitat) generous partners, sponsors and volunteers, it will soon be home to three families. The run-down area has been transformed into a row of well-built and affordable homes that will help three hardworking families and enhance the neighborhood. The three homes, which are part of 27 homeownership opportunities GDM Habitat created in 2013, will each have mortgage payments under $600 per month.

GDM Habitat kicked off a blitz build on Dean Avenue on September 9. Sponsors include Kemin Industries; Andersen Windows and Doors; and a CEO Build supported by presenting sponsor Bank of America. The homes are also supported by Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) and United Way.

Polk County Housing Trust Fund has been a long-term and dedicated Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity partner and financial supporter, says Lance Henning, Executive Director for GDM Habitat. PCHTF’s significant contributions help support program operations, home builds, Rock the Block®program repair and maintenance projects, and support services for partner families.

“PCHTF’s partnership is a key component to our success in building homes, community and hope in the Des Moines area. We are very grateful for their ongoing collaboration and support,” adds Henning.

Kemin Industries, a longtime Habitat partner, had dozens of employees participate in the build. Andersen Windows and Doors has been involved in hundreds of Habitat builds nationwide and had more than 100 employees from Iowa and Minnesota sign up to help. The one-day CEO Build involved more than a dozen corporate leaders from throughout the community, and Bank of America, the presenting sponsor for the CEO Build, had more than a dozen volunteers on site as well.

In the past two months, more than 900 volunteers worked alongside GDM Habitat staff and the families who are purchasing the homes to complete the houses. Additional corporations and organizations that volunteered  included Citi, RV Care-A-Vanners, Wells Fargo, Aviva, Nationwide, International Facility Association (IFMA)/ Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), Sammons Financial Group, John Deere, RJ  Reynolds, Marsh, ARAG, A-tec Energy, Dowling High School, Iowa State University, Drake University, Des Moines University, Mary Kay Consultants and individual community members.

“We are thankful for the assistance of the many partners, sponsors and volunteers who helped with this large project,” said Henning. “This was a great community-wide effort. Any time we do a blitz build, it generates a lot of enthusiasm. We are looking forward to dedicating the homes and moving these three families into affordable homeownership, which will hopefully open doors for many more opportunities for all of them.”

The three homes on Dean Avenue are nearly completed and will all be dedicated on Saturday, November 9 at 10:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend the dedication ceremonies.