A home destroyed by fire in Oak Park Heights will soon be given a new life and a new family. 

After the old home was torn down, the property was purchase by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and the organization is building a four-bedroom home with the help of volunteers. For 10 days, volunteers from Andersen Windows and Doors donated their time to build the home as part of its annual employee giving campaign. The home, located a few blocks from the company’s Bayport campus, will also feature Andersen windows.

For Paul Delahunt, President of Renewal by Andersen and a board member of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, the opportunity for employees to work on a project like this is gratifying.

“I guess the simplest thing I’d say is it really hits home — no pun intended,” Delahunt said. “This is right in our backyard for Andersen, and Andersen has been a huge supporter of Habitat from the beginning, since Twin Cities Habitat was started like 40 years ago.”

Delahunt said Habitat for Humanity builds about 40 houses per year in the local area, with all windows donated or provided at cost by Andersen.

“I think that’s very satisfying for us, you know, it’s very tangible,” Delahunt said. “You got Andersen windows going in the home, as well, and they’re going to have those for the next 25 years. I think, really makes people feel good — a sense of pride.”

Currently, Habitat for Humanity is working on a campaign called Multiply the Impact with the goal of getting more people into affordable housing. While in years past, the organization has worked with about 40 families per year, last year they worked with 114 families.

“Some of the homes we built, some we just remodeled and some we helped buy on the open market,” Delahunt said. “They did it through training and financial coaching and, with a Habitat mortgage through our partnership with Bremer Bank, are able to qualify for a reduced interest mortgage.”

Delahunt said that a misconception about Habitat for Humanity is that they give the homes away from free. The organization works with average income earners and lower cost mortgages to make home buying a more reachable goal.

“We haven’t solved the problem, but we’re a part of the solution,” Delahunt said.

Andersen estimates that 150 employees will participate in their volunteer campaign this week, and welcome others to volunteer as well. To sign up and volunteer a few hours of time, visit oph.tchabitat.volunteerhub.com to find an available shift. Volunteers must be over the age of 16 years.

Contact Alicia Lebens at alicia.lebens@ecm-inc.com

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