Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity named city’s No. 1 builder for homes September 1, 2014

When Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity found a new home a few years ago, the larger location was supposed to support a 200 percent growth in neighborhood revitalization efforts. Now, the nonprofit is ranked as the city’s No. 1 single-family home builder.

The nonprofit builder is leading community improvement initiatives by reviving both vacant residential lots and properties with abandoned homes. GDM Habitat plans to complete 30 homes by the end of 2014 and build its 250th home since the local chapter began in 1986.

With a $1.5 million loan, IFF financed GDM Habitat’s move in 2011 to the bigger space for its main office, warehouse, and ReStore, a discount home improvement center. The store, whose net proceeds are invested back into the nonprofit’s mission of building homes, communities, and hope, has experienced a 42 percent increase in these funds.

“Greater Des Moines Habitat appreciated IFF’s partnership at a key strategic moment, allowing us since that juncture to move more than 60 families to homeownership and complete repairs that helped over 200 homeowners to remain safely in their existing homes,” said Lance Henning, president and executive director of GDM Habitat.

A new construction three-bedroom Habitat house in Des Moines costs about $118,000. Habitat homes are available for low-income residents who are willing to volunteer up to 400 hours of “sweat equity” and who can commit to an affordable, 20-year mortgage. All mortgage payments go toward building more Habitat homes.

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