Season of Wishes: Habitat for Humanity builds houses, hope for local families

Published 1:12 am Tuesday, November 28, 2017


NATCHEZ — Local Habitat for Humanity officials hope to have a home for the holidays this Christmas.

Natchez chapter secretary Duncan McFarlane said the organization is weeks away from finishing its 21st house — the first house built outside the Natchez city limits.

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“We are hoping to finish by Christmas,” McFarlane said. “We are very close to being through.”

The house on Foster Mound Road near the intersection with Martin Luther King Jr. Road in the north part of the county is on a lot donated by Delta Bank, McFarlane said.

Habitat for Humanity builds houses using mostly volunteer labor and donations to build affordable houses. Homeowners selected by Habitat work on their houses alongside volunteers and pay for the house through an affordable mortgage.

If everything works out as planned, McFarlane said he hopes another local family will have a new house just in time for a holiday celebration.

“We are just waiting on the appliances and landscaping,” he said.

Currently the organization is working on an existing Habitat house that was deeded back to the organization after foreclosure. Most of the work involves repainting the house. Habitat is currently seeking new owners for the house, McFarlane said.

With the closure of the local United Way office and an uncertain future with a regional United Way office, McFarlane said donations are more important than ever.

One of Habitat’s board members Mary Flach recently retired as the manager of the local Belk Store. In the past Flach and Belk were generous with fundraising efforts for Habitat, McFarlane said.

Flach’s retirement added another level of uncertainty to the future of fundraising, McFarlane said.

“United Way and Belk provided more than 50 percent of our donations,” McFarlane said. “We are looking to replace those dollars we have relied on so heavily.”

The local chapter is always in need of volunteers, vacant land and qualified applicants, he said. McFarlane said anyone interested in helping Habitat for Humanity can call him at 601-807-4956.

Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 100, Natchez, MS 39121.