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Addressing a housing shortage in Council Bluffs by revitalizing older homes

In 2019, the 712 Initiative found more than 700 homes in Council Bluffs in poor or deteriorated condition.
Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 19:44:30-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. (KMTV) - The 712 Initiative and Habitat for Humanity are teaming up to revitalize homes by giving some much-needed attention to older ones.

"We are taking the worst house on the block, those extra homes that need a little TLC," said Sheryl Garst, the 712 Initiative's CEO.

Garst says the community's housing shortage is affecting Council Bluffs' growth. While solving the affordable housing crisis is not an easy feat, Garst is convinced this is the way to do it.

"702 Bluff Street is a perfect example of what we are doing. We are completely gutting the home, new major systems where a new homeowner will not have the worry when they are moving into the home," Garst said.

The partnership will add seven homes, safe havens for people that desperately need it.

"Housing ties back to everything we do. It's the place we all go home to, it's the place we raise our children, it's the place our kids go outside and play, to being that safe environment," Garst said.

Habitat for Humanity's Blake Johnson believes the partnership is not only stabilizing housing, it is also creating a firm foundation for strong families.

"Anytime you create bandwidth and the ability to be more impactful, you are taking a step in the right direction," Johnson said.

Once the homes are renovated, they will be marketed for new home ownership opportunities.