Turning dreams of homeownership into reality


Grant, community support afford Habitat home build in 2019

OGLE COUNTY — One local organization will be making the dream of homeownership into reality for another family in 2019, thanks in part to a grant and community support.

Habitat for Humanity of Ogle County board president Don Schier and executive director Vanessa White-Broome proudly announced the organization was recently awarded $15,000 from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. The funds will be applied to the next home build on South Ninth Street in Rochelle.

These types of grants along with donations and volunteers help the organization fulfill its mission to provide quality, affordable homes for lower income families.

“We are very excited to share this news with everyone in Ogle County, and are very appreciative to the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, as well as countless other individuals and businesses in the area who have supported our organization in one way or another. This support has enabled us to serve a total of four families in 2018 who have attained their dream of decent, affordable housing,” White-Broome said. “We are so fortunate to be based in a county that understands the benefits of well-designed housing programs.”

With the support and assistance, HFHOC has built 12 new three-bedroom homes in Byron, Forreston, Mt. Morris, Oregon, Polo and Rochelle and helped a Hillcrest family with home improvements through the Brush with Kindness program since 2002.

Just this past year, a grant for $12,000 from CFNIL assisted the Habitat organization in two projects; the building of a new three-bedroom home in Rochelle for the Price family and a home rehabilitation in Polo for a family of three. 

“Since our start up we’ve been building decent, affordable quality homes for many lower income families that might not otherwise have qualified for a mortgage,” White-Broome said. “Our programs are a ‘hands-up, not a hand-out. CFNIL grant funds have benefited our affiliate in serving our 2018 partner families so that they can reside in quality, affordable homes.”

Looking ahead

White-Broome said the next step for HFHOC is to begin the screening process for the next family. HFHOC owns two lots on South Ninth Street and intends to build a 1,200 square-foot home on one of those properties. 

The HFHOC’s annual prime rib dinner fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, April 26 at 5:30 at the First Presbyterian Church social hall. Reservations can be made by calling White-Broome at 815-440-6598.

HFHOC as well as all Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country pride on helping individuals and families own homes with no-interest loans. Through “sweat-equity” the future homeowner works alongside the volunteers in the house in many phases of the project including cleaning the building site, working on their home or a home for another family, or assisting with administrative duties. 

For more information, to inquire about available board member positions or about volunteer opportunities, please contact White-Broome at 815-440-6598.

“Our goal remains working alongside individuals in Ogle County to improve their living condition by offering opportunities for a more stable life as a homeowner,” White-Broome added. “By partnering with those qualified in the Ogle County service area, our affiliate provides opportunities for homeownership thus opening doors to security, stability, hope, and a sense of pride in becoming a homeowner.”

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