Posted on December 10, 2020
Innovia Foundation, the community foundation for Eastern Washington and North Idaho, is announcing a campaign to raise $300,000 to rebuild four of the homes lost during the devastating September wildfires that destroyed the communities of Malden and Pine City.
The Western Anabaptist Mission Service in St. Ignatius, Montana is volunteering their labor to rebuild four homes lost in the fire. The Mission service, whose vision is to “reach out to people in need and be the hands for Jesus in today’s world,” has helped communities in Montana, Idaho and Washington rebuild from wildfires over the past several years, including the Carlton Complex Fire in Okanogan County.
Construction materials for each home will cost around $75,000. Volunteers can begin building in January once money has been raised. Volunteers will build a new home every three to four weeks.
Last week, our region responded with incredible generosity and adopted Malden and Pine City families to bring a bit of holiday cheer by providing Christmas dinner and presents for families who lost everything.
On September 7, the Babb Fire swept across Whitman County. An estimated 80% of homes in Malden and nearly 75% of homes in Pine City were lost. Approximately two-thirds of these families did not have insurance because their homes were deemed uninsurable. The Pine Creek area is the most economically depressed area in the county.
How will families be selected to receive a new home?
This is a voluntary program. Families who wish to receive assistance to rebuild their homes will complete an application through the selected nonprofit housing provider. Priority will be given to uninsured or underinsured families who lived in and owned their own home. Additional selection criteria are being developed and will be available with the application.
Who will be the nonprofit housing provider?
Innovia Foundation and the Long-Term Recovery Committee are currently seeking proposals from several nonprofit housing organizations.
If all the materials are donated and labor is donated, why are families being asked to take out a zero-interest mortgage?
Donations received will be used to purchase materials needed to begin the construction of new homes in the Malden and Pine Creek Communities. Selected families will receive a zero–interest loan to cover the cost of these materials only, not labor. The money that families pay back will be channeled into the construction of more homes for other families.
This program, modeled in part, on the proven Habitat for Humanity and other housing programs, will allow for the continued reinvestment of dollars into the community to help more families impacted by devastating wildfires.
Why are only four homes being built?
This is just the beginning. The Western Anabaptist Mission Service has generously volunteered their labor to build four homes this winter. We will continue to help the community fundraise and partner with volunteer groups wanting to donate their time, talent and resources to rebuild the communities of Malden and Pine Creek.
When will construction begin?
Volunteers from the Western Anabaptist Mission Service are available to begin construction mid-January. A home will be built every 3-4 weeks.