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'It's life changing': Annual Blitz Build in Deer Park helps create affordable housing for Inland Northwest

The Habitat for Humanity program has various volunteer groups come together to help build affordable housing in the Inland Northwest.

DEER PARK, Wash. — It's no secret that the Inland Northwest and much of the United States is struggling to create more affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity is working to change that dynamic and change lives with affordable housing projects.

Many residents, including KREM 2's own Mark Hanrahan and Jeremy LaGoo, volunteered Monday morning at the annual Blitz Build in Deer Park.

The annual Blitz Build has various volunteer groups come together to help build affordable housing.

"For the last week, and this week we will have various volunteer groups to build as quickly as possible," Spokane Habitat for Humanity CEO Michelle Girardot said. "On Friday, we will dedicate one of these homes."

Girardot says that, even before the pandemic, the Inland Northwest was in a housing emergency.

"Over the last two years, we've seen a 600% increase in qualified, low to moderate income buyers for our program." Girardot said. " This is an empowerment program.  They will pay an affordable mortgage over a 30-year mortgage term... They will become credit worthy."

Girardot says that buyers will also work alongside community members and build alongside neighbors, all the while learning the ins and outs of what it means to buy a home.

"These homes are not glamorous," Girardot said. "Simple, decent [and] affordable. We close on a handful of homes. We had one family at the closing completing paperwork.  She kept saying, 'This isn't happening.  I can't believe this is happening.  How am I getting these keys?'  They worked for it.  The partnership process is about one and a half to two years and it's life changing."

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