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Rock the Block planned

Habitat program may come to Waupaca

By Angie Landsverk

Habitat for Humanity plans to bring its Rock the Block program to Waupaca next May.

The program helps low income homeowners make improvements to the exteriors of their properties.

It kicks off neighborhood revitalization efforts and also includes community projects.

Ryan Roth explained the program to the Waupaca Common Council when it met on Aug. 20.

He is the community development director of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity.

“I had a meeting about a year ago with Tim Neuville and Chris Anthony,” Roth said. “Tim and Chris wanted to bring it here.”

He said about $300,000 has already been raised toward the $400,000 cost.

“We’re excited to work together to make things happen in the coming months,” Roth said.

People may visit foxcitieshabitat.org to donate.

Public meetings in September

Roth said Habitat for Humanity has reached out to all Waupaca residents with a mailing.

Informational meetings are set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in the public library’s lower-level meeting room.

He said door-to-door outreach is also planned in older parts of the downtown area.

Between 25 and 30 projects are typically completed in a community, Roth said.

Since starting Rock the Block in 2015, there have been 11 events, with more than 330 projects completed, he said.

Homeowners pay for their home improvements through non-interest deferred loans.

Their loan payments and community investments into Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Investment fund support community projects and related program expenses.

Roth said homeowners and volunteers work together.

The program transforms neighborhoods.

It builds equity for low income families, increases the tax base and also raises home ownership rates.

Roth said residents noticed their neighbors making improvements to their homes after Rock the Block came to their neighborhoods.

He noted Habitat for Humanity also gets high school students involved in the work.

What type of community projects will take place in Waupaca has not been identified yet, he said.

“Thank you for thinking of Waupaca,” Mayor Brian Smith said.

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