An Ames family will finally be able to call themselves homeowners, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa and a $50,000 grant from the Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors.

According to Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa Executive Director Sandi Risdal, seeing the look on the family's faces when they receive the keys to a newly built home is almost indescribable.

"I cry every time," Risdal said. "It's just so heartwarming to see the family, and watch them become homeowners."

The funding was made available through the State Housing Trust Fund's Project-Based Housing program. The program provides financing for the development of affordable single-family and multi-family housing units.

Risdal said the total cost of the Ames home, at 1125 Maxwell Ave., is roughly $120,000, with construction set to break ground early next month and be completed by the end of the year. Given the cost of construction, Risdal said that receiving this grant is a major boost for Habitat for Humanity, but also for the Percival family, which will take over the home once its complete.

"It really enables Habitat to do the project," Risdal said.

According to the Iowa Finance Authority, the ranch-style home will include 1,100-square-feet of finished living space with three bedrooms, one bathroom and a full basement. The family that purchases the home receives financial, home repair, home-ownership and foreclosure prevention education and must also complete the required sweat equity/community service hours prior to closing on the home.

Since the program's inception in 2003, the State Housing Trust Fund has awarded nearly $63 million in funding and assisted 21,377 affordable housing units. These awards have also leveraged an additional $152.3 million or $2.42 in other resources for every dollar of State Housing Trust Fund funding.

According to Risdal, this is the third grant from the State Housing Trust Fund that Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa has received. She said that the Ames branch usually constructs or remodels around three homes per year, with 55 total homes constructed since 1996.

"It's just such a moving experience," Risdal said.

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