A dozen volunteers unloaded construction materials and began nailing the framework for a new house this week, their task to begin building the first Habitat for Humanity home in Des Plaines.
The residence, which will be home to a single mother from Arlington Heights and her three children, represents a chance for the nonprofit organization to expand its mission to a new area.
"It's an opportunity for us to reach new donors, new volunteers," said Bill Klaves, associate director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley, based in Elgin.
A majority of the homes the chapter has built are located in Kane County.
The 1,750-square-foot home with four bedrooms and three baths will be located on a previously blighted property on Cora Street, between Algonquin Road and Oakton Street on the city's east side. The city demolished an uninhabitable home on the property, creating the chance to build in the city.
While residents will start seeing marked progress at site for the first time this fall, work has already been happening behind the scenes with the help of local volunteers.
The concrete foundation has been poured, and students at Maine East High School built walls in a geometry and construction class last spring. Volunteers from Oakton Community College, where the walls are being stored, will transport the framework to the site. Plus, local businesses have pitched in to help the project progress.
The core group of volunteers for the house are from the Spring of Life Partnership, a group of churches from Arlington Heights, Palatine and Inverness.
Lee Kingdon, a leader for the group, said the group has been meeting with Des Plaines churches to teach others about the program.
"It's not low-income housing," she said. "It's affordable housing."
Homeowners are required to contribute at least 250 hours of volunteer labor for the construction of the home. The family will pay a 30-year mortgage, with the Habitat for Humanity covering interest fees.
"We really like the idea of putting a nice house in a neighborhood where we can show the quality of our work," Klaves said.
Learn about volunteer and donation opportunities at www.habitatnfv.org.