Housing Development Alliance: 'It is everyone's right to have a safe home to go to at night'

Published: Sep. 15, 2018 at 3:06 PM EDT
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The 2018 Community House raising began on Saturday in Hazard.

Volunteers are stepping up by reaching out for hammers and nails to provide comfort for local families.

Members of the Housing Development Alliance say this house, in particular, is going to a single mother with two children.

Hannah Caudill, a volunteer, says it makes her sad to think some children her own age have to worry about where they will sleep at night.

"When it's snowing, when it's raining, when it's cold out ... they just need a place with heat, [an] air conditioner, and a stove and food," Caudill said.

Grants and fundraisers make it possible for the alliance to build new homes and offer repair work to homeowners who need a helping hand.

Run for the Hills, presented by the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, matches donations up to $5,000 raised for causes of this type from August 1 until October 6.

Each house is energy efficient, thanks to durable walls and extra insulation.

"A family can afford a little bit more of an expensive house if their electric bills aren't $300 a month," Timothy Baker, the Director of Development and Communications said. "So that's what we really try to tend to do ... make those electric bills affordable so they can always live there."

Nearly 250 volunteers help out over a span of six weeks.

Organizers say 17 houses are typically built in just one year, and they cannot help but smile when workers join and find the fun in giving back.

"I want to be a carpenter when I grow up, "10-year-old Jon Falter said.

Jane Britton says she and many other members of the alliance believe it is everyone's right to have a safe place to go to at night and they intend to help new homeowners every step of the way.

"They'll [the Housing Development Alliance] find a program that is right for them and their budget because we do not ever want to put people in a house that they cannot afford," Britton said.

She says homeowners will go through counseling programs teaching them about budgeting, what it means to be a good neighbor, and prepare them for ownership.

Volunteers hope to have the house complete for the family before Christmas.

If interested in volunteering or having a house built, Britton asks that you call the Housing Development Alliance at 606-436-0497.