Elizabethtown donates property to Habitat for Humanity

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Will aid effort to build affordable housing near Haycraft neighborhood

By Marty Finley

Hardin County Habitat for Humanity now has another property to continue to develop a series of new homes near the Haycraft neighborhood in Elizabethtown.
Elizabethtown City Council voted 5-0 Monday to donate a portion of city property at 310 McLeod Place to Habitat for Humanity so it can be used to build a new home for a family chosen by the organization.
Councilman Kenny Lewis was absent from the meeting.
Larry Mengel, director of the Hardin County chapter, said the organization has acquired other property in the area and wanted to take advantage of some nearby property owned by the city where a new home could be erected.
The agreement also waives certain fees, such as utility connection, construction and planning review fees.
As an effort to rehabilitate the Haycraft neighborhood, the city has assisted in the demolition and construction of several homes in the area and is in a phase to purchase vacant parcels for future building, said Planning Director Ed Poppe. The city has been working in the area for a few years and received thousands in aid toward revitalization for projects like road and sewer improvements.
Mengel said he is unsure when work on a home will start on the property and no homeowner has been chosen for the home.
“We’ve still got some planning to do,” he said.
It’s not the first home built in the area. Habitat for Humanity completed an Energy Star-certified home last fall on Guthrie Place, which successfully lowered the homeowner’s utility costs, Mengel said.
The organization is now preparing for a “mega build,” which will constitute the simultaneous construction of three houses on lots acquired from Communicare at the intersection of Haycraft and East Poplar streets, Mengel said.
Two of the homes have been partnered with a future owner and work is under way to secure a family for the third home.
“We always have a family designated before we start because we have to scale the house (to fit) the family,” Mengel said.
Mengel said Habitat sells the homes to the families with affordable financing options and requires future owners to invest several hours of “sweat equity” into the construction of Habitat homes, including their own. For two-parent households, 500 hours of construction time is required, while a single-parent household would require 250 hours, Mengel said.
At least 100 hours will be spent working on their own home, which Mengel said solidifies a homeowner’s connection to their future residence.
“They’ve taken ownership,” he said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.