House donated to Habitat for Humanity

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Habitat for Humanity board members Don Hebert, president; Duane Feragen, vice president; Jeanne Sheehan, secretary; Kevin Hoversten, treasurer; Kevin Siefken, director; and Wayne Hanson, volunteer, stand with Patti Hareid, Mayo Clinic Health System community relations and marketing director, pose for a photo during the dedication that was held for the new Habitat home. The home at 405 Eighth Ave. N. in Albert Lea was donated by Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. -- Submitted photo

Freeborn/Mower Habitat for Humanity recently received an unusual donation — an entire house.

Don Hebert, Habitat board president, said in his years with the organization no one has ever donated a whole house. The house, at 405 Eighth Ave. N. in Albert Lea, was donated by Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

“It’s great,” Hebert said. “Instead of building a whole home we can talk about putting about $20,000 into the house.”

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Habitat builds homes that cost around $55,000 after they find a family who fits their criteria. Hebert said they’ll first find a family for the recently donated home, and then they’ll start the renovations. Because families who receive homes must donate work hours, Habitat will wait to do renovations so the family can work on the home.

“We haven’t done anything to the house yet,” Hebert said.

To qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home, a family has to be in need of a home, have a job and work a set number of hours on the home or in the community. They must make payments after the house is built. Families have to complete about 250 volunteer hours, also known as sweat equity.

Hebert said he expects Habitat will need to replace the furnace, air conditioning, cupboards, carpet and windows, among other upgrades. The bathroom may also be redone. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom home has a valuation of $45,600 and was built in 1952, according to the Freeborn County Assessor’s Office.

“There is a full basement,” Hebert said.

The house also includes a small, single garage. Hebert thinks the house would fit a couple with one or two children. Patti Hareid, community relations and marketing director for the hospital, said the hospital donates to different causes that can improve the quality of life of residents in the area.

“We have always been a big community partner helping to fund programs and community services that contribute not only to improve health and health care but to improve quality of life,” Hareid said.

Hareid said when the hospital had a clinic off Fountain Street they bought the home in case they wanted to expand in the future.

“It’s a nice location and neighborhood,” Hebert said.