Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2000

Habitat for Humanity set to move to DeSoto

July 13, 2000

Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity will soon build a home in DeSoto.

Habitat's executive director Kelly Willoughby said construction of the home would begin in September and end at the end of the month. This would be one of Habitat's quickest projects.

"We are excited about the possibility to build in DeSoto," Willoughby said. "I'm hopeful that this house will be a beginning.

"I'm looking forward to building more if we are accepted."

The home, which was purchased and donated by the Johnson County Bar Association, will be built on a vacant lot at 8280 Cherokee Street. It will be a three-bedroom ranch with a one-car garage.

The previous home on the property was condemned and demolished. A demolition lien of $4,470 was placed against the property.

Willoughby said the average cost of a Habitat home is about $54,000. Due to the demolition fee, DeSoto's will cost an additional $5,000, making it one of the most expensive Habitat homes built this year.

City administrator Gerald Cooper said Habitat has not yet requested a building permit from the city. He said the city has waived permit fees and offered a $1,000 donation to be applied to property lien waivers.

The home will be appraised at more than $75,000, Willoughby said. She said because of the Johnson County location, the home could reach an appraisal of $90,000.

Cooper estimated that the home would annually bring $150 in property taxes for the city.

Kaw Valley Habitat is chartered to build in Wyandotte, Johnson and Leavenworth counties. Willoughby said this home's presence in DeSoto would help them fill their charter in Johnson County.

Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit organization that uses volunteer labor. It sells homes to low-income recipients at cost and with no interest.

The owner of the home has not yet been determined. Willoughby said recipients must be able to pay for the home, must work on the home for at least 350 hours and must have a significant need for housing.

"It's important they become a valuable part of the community like anyone else," she said.

The only concern Willoughby said DeSoto residents might have is the appearance of the home. She said it would fit in well with the community.

"It will look nice and will not be a detriment to the neighborhood," she said. "It's our hope to strengthen the neighborhood."

Those interested in volunteering for this, or any other Habitat project, can contact Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity at (913) 342-3047.

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