An ambitious home-building project kicked off today in Des Moines in a neighborhood just blocks from the Drake University campus. Hundreds of volunteers turned out for a rally to mark what will be a nine-day construction period for nine townhomes. Low-income families from the non-profit Anawim Housing organization will live in the completed homes.
First Lady Mari Culver was on hand to help get the “Nine Homes in Nine Days” project going Culver says,”I’m just thrilled to be here on behalf of the state, obviously the governor and I full support affordable housing.” Culver says the state has provided funds to go along with federal money to help create affordable housing, particularly in eastern Iowa — where many of the homes were devastated by the floods.
AUDIO: Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reports on 9 homes in 9 days. :60 MP3
Culver says the townhomes will provide a new beginning for the families. Culver says unfortunately one of the families that will move into the new homes lives in a place that is substandard housing, too small and several stories up for the grandmother to walk up, and it’s not in a safe area. She says so this is a safe environment, this will be a nurturing environment where she can raise her extended family, where they can grow in a safe and good environment and be contributing members of our community.”
Thirteen-year-old Kenya Williams will live in one of the homes. She watched as the pre-fabricated walls started going up on the project shortly after the kickoff announcement. She says she’s very excited and can’t wait to move into the new home. Williams says it will be a dream come true and she hopes it is their last move and they can stay there for a long time.
Hubbell Homes of Des Moines is leading the project construction, with all the materials from paint to drywall and nails being donated. Baring any major weather delays, the nine homes should be completed by September 18th. Governor Culver issue a proclamation declaring September “Affordable Housing Month”.