Habitat for Humanity working to revitalize entire neighborhoods - KCTV5

Habitat for Humanity KC working to revitalize entire neighborhoods

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(Habitat for Humanity Kansas City) (Habitat for Humanity Kansas City)

For the past 34 years, Habitat for Humanity Kansas City has helped families get into their very own home, but now it's going beyond that and revitalizing entire neighborhoods.

The 2900 block of Flora Avenue in Kansas City, MO, is getting a facelift. Across the street, Edward Morgan, looks on from the front porch of the duplex he rents.

"To see these new houses coming up in the neighborhood is good," he said.

Volunteers built a stucco home from the ground up, but it's not just the new homes that look good.

One home is a foreclosure Habitat for Humanity got from a bank, and just next door a family-owned home is getting a fresh coat of paint and some siding repairs, with the help of Habitat.

"So you can have new construction, you can rehab projects, then you can have these home preservation projects. So you touch everyone in the neighborhood, and not just bits and pieces," said Lori Smith, executive director of Habitat for Humanity.

A new program, the Home Preservation Program, helps homeowners make minor repairs such as siding, guttering, roofing and weatherization, and homeowners only have to pay a portion of the cost.

"Habitat historically is not about giving a hand out, but giving a hand up. Empowering people to make their way with people in the community," Smith said.

It's able to expand on programs, because theirs has grown during the hard economic times because of their Re-Stores.

"They take reclaimed and new home building materials, and sell them to the public, and that generates up to $3 million a year," Smith said.

Meanwhile, Morgan is enjoying his new view that doesn't include boarded-up homes anymore.

"That's the thing, when they come in and they redo the whole block, the houses and all that, they get rid of a whole lot of other stuff that's not right. That's what I think, and that's a good thing," he said.

More than 60 volunteers will be working on the block Friday for the Rock the Block event, which kicks off the new Home Preservation Program.

They need your tools. If you have any lying around that you don't use anymore, drop them off on the 2900 block of Flora Avenue, Friday.

Homeowners living in the Boston Heights and Mount Hope neighborhoods can apply with Habitat for Humanity for the help, and the program hopes to expand to other neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO, next year.

Click here for more information on the program.

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