A partnership between BankWest and Oahe Habitat for Humanity will transform a large, vacant lot in Fort Pierre into spacious yards and homes for two area families.
Oahe Habitat for Humanity Board President Don Zeller recently announced that BankWest has donated a 26,000-square-foot lot near the intersection of U.S. Highway 83 and Scotty Phillips Drive. The lot will be sub-divided and house two Habitat for Humanity homes.
“We could not be more appreciative of BankWest’s generosity,” Zeller said. “These are prime building lots in Fort Pierre and they will serve an important need for two area families. Habitat for Humanity has been somewhat stalled since the 2011 flood and this donation provides the kick-start we needed.”
Zeller said a qualified applicant has been secured for one of the two lots and construction will begin later this spring. He added that Habitat for Humanity is currently seeking a qualified family for the second lot and its selection will be based upon three criteria: need, ability to pay and willingness to participate as partner and provide sweat equity.
BankWest Chairman, President and CEO Charles Burke III said affordable housing is a very real issue in the Pierre-Fort Pierre area. He said the donation is just one way his organization gives back to the communities it serves.
“BankWest has been a part of the Pierre-Fort Pierre community for 127 years,” Burke said. “We want to see our friends and neighbors succeed financially and one important part of that equation is homeownership,” Burke said. “To that end, we have been a longtime partner with Habitat for Humanity. When this opportunity arose, there was no question where the land should go. We applaud Habitat’s efforts and we will continue to support them going forward.”
Habitat for Humanity Board Member Dennis Clarke said families interested in submitting an application should do so as soon as possible. Applications are available online at www.oahehabitat.org or by writing to: Oahe Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 533, Pierre, SD 57501.
“Our goal is to put hard-working families in affordable housing that they can proudly own,” Clarke said. “With partners like BankWest, we are able to make this dream a reality. It’s truly a great feeling when you see those families moving into their home and looking forward to all of the memories they will share within those walls.”