ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Members of Habitat for Humanity, the non-profit organization often associated with former president Jimmy Carter, were in south St. Louis Tuesday morning.
They were handing out the keys to five new homes scattered throughout the historic Carondelet neighborhood.
“The mission for Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate sub-standard housing throughout the world, obviously including St. Louis,” said Kyle Hunsberger, director of construction for Habitat of St. Louis.
He added that they’re not just giving future occupants a handout, but a hand up, by having them work side-by-side with Habitat crews on the homes they will one day live in.
“They provide the sweat equity for their own home, it’s basically their down payment,” Hunsberger explained. “Essentially it’s a partnership.”
He acknowledges that sometimes they run into pushback from established residents when they scout out new neighborhoods for Habitat dwellings.
“I think you always combat ignorance with education,” he said. “People don’t understand what the program is and there’s a fear of change.”
But the five new homes in the Carondelet neighborhood will soon be occupied and greatly appreciated by families that might not otherwise have a place to stay.
With more than 330 homes already built throughout the St. Louis region, Habitat has become one of this region’s leading housing developers.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Habitat for Humanity-St. Louis is the largest producer of LEED certified platinum single-family detached homes in the entire country.