Council agrees to cover Habitat for Humanity fees

The Cottage Grove City Council agreed to cover the permit fees for Habitat for Humanity’s latest project, house number 14. 

Linda Oxley, field operations manager for Habitat for Humanity, appeared before the council Monday night to inform the board that the organization had approved a homeowner for its 14th house to be completed in Cottage Grove.

The house, which will be located on Harvey Lane on the last of three parcels owned by the organization, will have two bedrooms and, in total, be comprised of approximately 936 square feet. 

“The individual that was approved is currently living in substandard conditions,” Oxley told the board, noting that the organization helps those who can’t afford a home by offering an affordable mortgage and a no-interest loan. 

Last year, Habitat for Humanity completed “lucky house number 13” and, according to the city, the latest project’s permit fees should be less than the $3,074 paid on house 13.

Councilor Jake Boone inquired as to the exact amount the city was agreeing to cover but, according to city manager Richard Meyers, the exact amount cannot be calculated until the plans are submitted to the city. 

Oxley informed the board that plans are due into the city by July. 

“With our new building inspection program, we will not be paying a contracted inspector to per-form the plan review or inspection,” Meyers wrote in his recommendation to the board. “All the services would be performed with staff. We would only have to pay the state surcharge.”

Habitat for Humanity agreed that it would have the SDC or system development fees. 

On April 10 of last year, the organization broke ground on the house — the 13th it had undertaken in the area. 

“It’s so much more than breaking ground and shoveling soil. It’s breaking a financial barrier,” new homeowner Lindsey Parsons said at the time.

Parsons, along with her husband Bryan and three children Titus, Corbin and Aviel, put in 400 hours of sweat equity before being handed over the keys — a mandate for families who benefit from Habitat for Humanity homes.

Parsons, whose parents never owned their own home, was the only one of five children to graduate college. 

She and Bryan celebrated their 10th anniversary last year and have managed to escape debt; but owning their own home has always been just out of reach. 

“Our children won’t have to worry about the roof leaking into their bedroom or a draft coming from the window. They won’t have to worry about neighbors shooting off their guns when they’re drunk or being safe in their yard,” Parsons said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “Habitat for Humanity is giving my children their childhood.”

The vote to cover the permit fees for house number 14 passed unanimously and councilor Ken Roberts said he hoped to help build the latest project, citing his enjoyment of helping to construct house 13.

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