Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity will build its 27th home in Ridgeway this summer.

"Two houses were built several years ago very successfully in Ridgeway so the Board decided that it was time to build on a third lot in that community. We always want to build in various parts of the county," said Gus Johnson, Habitat executive director.

The house will be built on the addition named for the late Don Kemp who was the first director of Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity.

"The cost of construction increases every year as do the expenses of the organization. So every March the fundraising committee organizes a phonathon to solicit donations," Johnson said.

Volunteers will call over 900 residents of Winneshiek County on two consecutive Sunday evenings, March 3 and 10. Prior to the phone calls, the Committee mails out a newsletter and a letter explaining the possibility of pledging and avoiding a phone call.

The goal for Habitat is to work in partnership with people in need to build or renovate decent, affordable housing for them. The houses are sold to low-income working families at no profit and with no interest charged.

Winneshiek County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization.

Volunteers provide much of the labor and partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor ¬ or "sweat equity" ¬ into building their homes and the homes of others. Partner families must have employment and demonstrate that currently they have an inadequate housing situation.

For more information on eligibility requirements or simply for general information about Habitat, go to the WCHFH website www.winneshiekhabitat.org or contact Gus Johnson at 563 382 1802. Persons wishing to donate who don't receive a letter or phone call, can send it to Box 457, Decorah.