(Building A) Home For The Holidays - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

(Building A) Home For The Holidays

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WHITEFISH -

With more than $80,000 from the city, the Whitefish Housing Authority is doing their own extreme home makeover times two.

BNSF donated three homes in Whitefish to the Housing Authority. A family is already living in the one, but the two others need some serious work on the plumbing, the foundation, and the wiring before they can be rented to a low-income family.

"Our rents are so high here and so many families can't afford with the bubble bursting especially, a lot of families lost their homes," explained Lori Collins, the executive director of the Housing Authority.

In the alley between the two homes you can kind of get a sense of how much work is left to be done: all the doors and windows are boarded up and the paint on both homes is chipping.

"The need is ever growing. This time of year there's a lot more need because people are, the homeless situation expands," said Collins.

Cheryl Wilder, a single mom working two jobs, is the ultimate success story.

"When I got divorced that was his first question: are you leaving, and I said 'heck no!' I'm here. This is where I live," said Wilder.

Wilder reluctantly admits she is originally from California, but says Whitefish is her true home.

"I was paying somebody else to live in their house. Now I have my own house and I couldn't have done that without Whitefish Housing Authority," said Wilder.

To make these next two undertakings as successful, the Housing Authority is still asking for stuff that really turns a house into a home: appliances, furniture, and things that would make a family comfortable. There is also an account set up at Glacier Bank in Whitefish where you can give money.

Collins says she hopes to move families into the two homes sometime in March or April.

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