Homeowner Hopefuls Take Hammer In Hand - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Homeowner Hopefuls Take Hammer In Hand

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KALISPELL -

Six families in Kalispell are building their own houses with help from the Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana.

In about ten months, six new houses will fill an empty lot in the Spring Creek subdivision in Kalispell as part of the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. One of those families, the Kinkels, cannot wait to start decorating.

"It means we can stop renting a house," said Tabitha Kinkel, "We live in a small...it's really nice. When we first moved to Montana we--it was just the two of us, we had just gotten married and we just wanted a place to stay and it's cute and it's small. It's very small."

Each family applies for a loan through the U. S. Department of Agriculture and works nearly 1,100 hours, including holidays, on their own homes and their neighbors' homes. The Kinkels will only move in when all six homes are complete.

"It's such a long process and it's so arduous...then, you know, when the dust clears and the clouds, you know, dissipate, it's absolutely amazing," said Maren McCleary, the housing director for the Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana.

"It should be good," said Robert Kinkel, "Definitely a lot of hard work, but I think it'll definitely be worth it in the end."

For the Kinkels, the community the program creates is a big selling point. Another family with a toddler will live right down the street, a potential new friend for 14-month-old Lillian.

"We can put down roots. She'll be able to go to the great school I went to, West Valley," said Tabitha Kinkel.

After these newest homes are built, there will be 154 houses built because of the programs coordinators at the Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana.

"This empowers them to buy a home when they would otherwise not be able to afford it in the regular marketplace," explained McCleary.

Right now, the Kinkels are sorting through contractors, hoping to get some of the groundwork laid before winter gets going.

The community action partnership is already accepting applications for the next round of family homebuilders. They are looking for about ten to twelve families. You can get more details about the program and take a look at the application here.

 

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