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New homes for low-income families revitalizing Butte's eastside neighborhood

Habitat for Humanity just opened another home
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Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 14:55:19-04

BUTTE — Habitat for Humanity just opened another home for a working-class family in Butte, a four-year project that saw 18 homes open up and revitalize an East-side neighborhood.

“Make it so everyone has a decent place to live that they can afford and that they live without the fear of losing their housing,” said Habitat for Humanity Director Barbara Miller.

The group held a ribbon-cutting for new homeowners in this neighborhood at Fairmont Street and Hancock Avenue. New homeowners are grateful for the program.

“This is my first house and I’ll be 75 in September, so it’s never too late, it’s never too late. I’m ecstatic, I’m happy, I’m joyful, I just can’t believe that it’s come through fruition,” said new homeowner Mary “Nikki” Foley.

The program helps below-median income families get loans and require them to do 1,000 hours of volunteer work on their new home known as sweat equity to help build their new house. The program believes more homeownership helps the community.

“We’re adding back to the tax base and we’re also doing critical community development to help neighborhoods throughout Butte,” said Construction Project Manager Todd Hunkler.

A few years ago, this section of Fairmont Street was a dirt road full of potholes. There wasn’t even a sidewalk here. They just didn’t build affordable housing here, they actually rebuilt a neighborhood.

“It was open, dirt, vacant brushland, you know, that the neighbors complained about a lot, but at least this neighborhood will just keep changing for the better until, all of a sudden, it’s a proud place to live,” said Miller.