The walls are going up on the first house being built in Perry by Dallas County Habitat for Humanity.


Volunteers gathered to raise the first wall at 1726 8th St. in Perry on Monday, April 1.


“(We’re starting on) our very first new construction home here in Dallas County, so we’re super excited about that,” said Jenna Ekstrom, Director of Marketing and Development of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, to the volunteers.


Dallas County Outreach Coordinator Omar Padilla added that groups of volunteers will be working at the site throughout the week to raise the remaining walls. Padilla said they have six groups lined up to work at the site everyday through Saturday.


“The plan is to have it under a roof by the end of the week,” he said.


He is excited to see work start up again at the new house site this spring.


“Over the last couple years we’ve been talking about building houses, building houses. It’s really easy to over-complicate that idea,” Padilla said. “Once we see the house, the walls, a roof, a door, it becomes really simple. Someone is going to live there. I’m excited for that.”


He added that another home will be built next to the current home by the end of the year. Two families are currently going through the home ownership program now. Two houses, Padilla said, will be built this year for both of those families.


Ekstrom told the volunteers gathered on Monday that families in the program put in 400 hours of sweat equity in order to purchase their own home with an affordable mortgage.


The families also take Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership class and financial education to learn more about running their home and protecting their investment.


“We really look at the house as more than four walls and a roof. We look at it as a foundation for the families to build their future on,” Ekstrom said.


Dallas County Habitat is currently looking for a family for a house in 2020. Padilla said the goal is to have four houses built on the block of 8th Street between North Street and Dewey Avenue over the next two to three years.


The volunteer slots through this week are full, but Padilla said they will need volunteers one day a week moving forward.


Those interested in volunteering can learn more at the Dallas County Habitat for Humanity’s Facebook page and website, http://dallascountyhabitat.org.