Habitat homes moving to Fort Wayne's south side

A new partnership between Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center and Habitat for Humanity will help improve south side neighborhoods.

Posted: Aug 23, 2019 2:08 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2019 3:11 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - In the Mt. Vernon Park neighborhood on Fort Wayne's south side, you might notice a lot of homes needing some renovations.

Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center has been doing some of those renovations for two years now.

However, there are a lot of empty lots as well.

CEO Javier Mondragon says they've been looking for a partner to help them do something about the 25 vacant lots in the neighborhood.

"That's the key of the partnership. We wanted to find someone who builds homes, who knows how to do it, and they can do it for this neighborhood," Mondragon said.

On Friday, they announced they are partnering with Habitat for Humanity.

For the first time, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Indiana will build outside of Fuller's Landing on the north side since beginning the neighborhood there.

Habitat homes are earned by the family by helping build the home and participating in educational programs designed to help to ensure their success as new homeowners.

Mondragon explained that around 60 percent of people near the Mt. Vernon Park area rent their property, but the goal is to reduce that rate to 30 percent.

6th Distrcit Councilwoman-Elect Sharon Tucker says that's how you help build a strong community.

Tucker explained, "We want to create a real community and studies have shown that when you have a mix-rate of both low-income and market-rate houses, then you have a solid community and a community for growth."

The plan isn't to stop in the Mt. Vernon Park neighborhood.

The partnership plans to continue into the surrounding neighborhoods, helping build up future generations.

Mondragon said, "Owning a home can change generations. Their kids and the kids of their kids will be able to now know that if my parents own a home, maybe I can own a home too."

Hopefully turning more empty lots into dreams.

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