Habitat for Humanity to build house in Peru

City to collaborate with Habitat to provide housing to a family in need

Peru City Hall in Peru, Illinois

Habitat for Humanity soon will start its next project in Peru — the organization will be building a home for a low-income family with the help of the city and community.

The City Council passed an ordinance Monday approving the sale of land to Habitat for Humanity and an agreement of collaboration on the project. The city will provide assistance to the organization, and in exchange, Habitat will offer quality housing to a deserving low-income family.

“I thought it was a great idea, and the council jumped on board ... so we’re excited,” said Mayor Ken Kolowski. “It’s an exciting thing ... and it’s going to help a family grow.”

Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Todd Volker gave a presentation to the council on the proposed project. Volker said the project will promote economic development and serve as a mini TIF district for the city.

“What you end up with in the long run is a family that becomes part of the community and they become regular taxpayers and regular property owners,” Volker said. “The money they would’ve spent on rent each month goes to the mortgage ... and it’s a good way to use the property.”

The property where the house will be built is located at 1124 Buffalo St. in Peru. There used to be “a dilapidated single-story home” built in 1898 at the location, according to the city ordinance. The home was demolished in 2012 when the city bought the property and it has been a vacant lot for the past 10 years.

The deadline for completion is June 1, 2024. Habitat for Humanity, assisted by the city, will conduct an application process to choose the family who will live in the house. Volker said these houses are built for people who want to own a home in a community with a good income but can’t afford to make a down payment on a house. The housing is typically for families just starting out and are usually two- or three-bedroom homes.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing for families in need. Aside from some staff and contractors, a lot of the work is volunteer-based. The chosen family also will help work on the house.

As part of the agreement, the city will help publicize the project and the family selection process. It also will host a community open house with Habitat to provide information on the project and encourage volunteers and local businesses to participate.

For more information and future updates, check the city website at https://www.peru.il.us/ or the city Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/peru.illinois.