A community effort to revitalize neighborhoods - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

A community effort to revitalize neighborhoods

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Building from the ground up and helping local families is the goal behind Habitat for Humanity of Greater Peoria's neighborhood revitalization project. 

"Everyone thrives when everyone is working together," said Terrance Cotton. 

He wants to help develop the community and his earth-moving business likes sponsoring things like this. 

"Habitat's philosophy is we go out and get people to help with revitalization of neighborhoods and areas and we ask donors and large businesses to fund the projects," stated Executive Director of Habitat Lea Anne Schmidgall

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Peoria partnered with Homeway Homes to provide two new safe and affordable houses for families in Peoria. 

"We're excited that we get to work with a local company and with a great community of very generous philanthropic people, said Schmidgall. 

Homeway Homes is responsible for the house structure.

"We go into neighborhoods that were once thriving but we know they still can," said Schmidgall. 

She also added, "Businesses want this to happen, neighbors want this to happen. They want to bring life back into the community."

They have been raising money for several months. 

"When you have a house that is occupied next to another house that is occupied with a family that is developing and growing, it helps develop more unity inside the community," stated Cotton. 

This project was privately funded and volunteers will eventually help with framing, siding and more. 

Families apply for this and have to fall in a certain income bracket. 

They are trying to achieve success through families. 

The house is eventually purchased by the family with a 20-year no interest mortgage and the cost includes tax and insurance. 

It will be another eight weeks until this project is completed. Schmidgall said last year they built four new homes and this year they hope to build another four new homes. This initiative is a year-long endeavor. 

They rely on grants, private donations and volunteers. 

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