Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

October means blitz for Fuller

Fuller_HouseThe last "test" exterior wall has been set in place, removed, stacked away with the other walls and a tarp has been placed over them. Now the wait begins for October 17 and 300 volunteers.

On that day at 7 a.m. volunteers from all over the country, along with new homeowners, will converge on the property of Legacy Acres and begin to build eight new homes from the slab up.

According to Charlie Park, executive director of the Fuller Center for Housing, Legacy Acres is the site of the third annual Millard Fuller Legacy Build.

This build is an annual week-long build where 100 houses are erected in Millard Fuller's honor and his desire for everyone to have decent, affordable housing.

Before the week-long "blitz build" begins, local volunteers work to ensure the exterior walls will be perfectly fit and ready for the teams to start throwing the walls up without delay.

"Why don't we just leave them all up?" asked Park. "The expectations of the volunteers are that they will start with nothing but a slab on Monday morning and have a complete house by the end of the week. It is just amazing the feeling that you get when you see nothing but a slab there on Monday morning and at the end of the week you got a complete house."

By the end of the workday on October 21, eight new homes will have been constructed from the ground up, complete with running water, electricity, gas, and even vinyl flooring. The carpet will probably be installed the next week. Also, the volunteers will have rehabilitated seven homes in the Tompkins quarters, a neighborhood close to Legacy Acres.

Those who are considered for a Fuller Center home are individuals whose present housing is not adequate, and who are unable to obtain adequate housing through other conventional means.

The percentage of monthly income that an individual spends on housing is considered to determine need. The applicant will be required to openly and fully discuss his financial situation with Fuller Center for Housing personnel.

Each potential homeowner is considered if his annual total income is between 25-50 percent of the median income for the northwest Louisiana area. Fuller Center will consider individuals below the minimum income guidelines, providing all other qualifications are met.

"The homeowners purchase the house," Park said. "It is not a give-away program. They buy the house for exactly what it cost us to build the house."

Fuller Center for Housing carries the mortgage, and the homeowner makes payment to the program.

"All of the money that comes in we turn around and build more houses with," Park said.

Also expected in the process of obtaining a new home is 500 sweat equity hours, according to Park. The homeowners are expected to work on their home and other projects.

"All of the homeowners for this project, with exception of one, now have their 500 hours of sweat equity that we require before they can move in," Park said.

There will be a kickoff dinner Sunday night, October 16 at the Minden Civic Center for the volunteers, homeowners and family members to establish the tone and to set the rules and guidelines for the build. Dinner will start at 6 p.m. with the program to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available to the general public by contacting Judy Rayner at 371-0200.

Dedication of all 15 projects will be Friday, October 21 at 3:30 p.m.






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