New Partnership Bridging Housing-Affordability Gap: Door County Habitat for Humanity announces new homeowner selection

If they could have avoided liability issues, leaders of Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership would have literally shouted from the rooftop about their new partnership on a home build.

Instead, they played it safe by making their announcement from the ground about the agreements that have been signed for the first future homeowner in the partnership.

Melissa Krueger and her children will purchase the home being built by Door County Habitat for Humanity (DCHH) volunteers at 803 N. 6th Place in Sturgeon Bay. She is excited to become a homeowner and looking forward to having a permanent home where her children can grow up.

All DCHH homeowners go through a rigorous application process that demonstrates they need assistance but can also maintain the home over the long term. Once selected, the homeowner puts 200 hours of sweat equity into his or her own home build, someone else’s home, or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or office. 

The collaboration between the Door County Housing Partnership and Door County Habitat for Humanity has been developing for the past two years.

“Basically, Habitat is building the houses like we always do,” said Megan Dietz, DCHH/ReStore manager, “but instead of the mortgage being our full cost of building the home, the Housing Partnership is providing funds to Habitat to help cover some of the costs so that the mortgage will be much lower. Then, they will own the land and hold it in their trust, and the homeowners will own the house on the land.”

The Door County Housing Partnership (DCHP) is a relatively new, independent, nonprofit organization focused on providing affordable home-ownership options for year-round residents. It does this by providing an up-front subsidy that bridges the affordability gap between the actual cost of the home and the affordable price, and reduces the cost to create a more affordable mortgage. 

A resale formula is then employed for all subsequent sales, allowing the homeowner to gain equity, but ensuring the home remains affordable for the next buyer.

“Habitat and the Housing Partnership will assist them if they want to sell the home to ensure it remains affordable and available to working-class families and does not become a second home or a vacation rental,” Dietz said. People interested in supporting the efforts of Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership to increase the number of affordable homes in Door County can do so by donating funds, which are tax deductible; and DCHH is also always seeking additional volunteers. To learn about donating to or volunteering with these nonprofits, contact Dietz at [email protected] or 920.743.2869, ext. 101; or Jim Honig, DCHP board president, at [email protected] or 920.421.2845.

Related Organizations