Hazelwood, MO and Habitat for Humanity Partnership

The City of Hazelwood, Missouri is a suburb located in the north St. Louis County region. The City is partnering with Habitat for Humanity St. Louis to rejuvenate the housing stock in Burke City, a low-to-moderate income neighborhood. The partnership will construct 12 new houses throughout the next year.

Burke City is an approximately 0.2 square mile residential area located near South New Florissant Road and I-270. This neighborhood is close to public transit, several employment centers and the St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus. Many homes in this area are in a substandard condition and the neighborhood has a large rental population. In 2016 the Burke City area had an estimated 107 vacant properties, of which 39 were considered problem properties. The City determined that it was necessary to reinvest in the neighborhood to increase home values, decrease taxpayers’ costs for maintenance and repair, help decrease crime and to encourage homeowners’ to invest in their property.

The City and Habitat for Humanity St. Louis developed this program whereby vacant homes and lots will be acquired and transferred to Habitat to construct new homes. The goal is to provide home ownership to low-to-moderate income persons, improve the housing stock, decrease crime, increase neighborhood home values and improve the aesthetics and pride of the neighborhood. The City has acquired 11 lots on which 12 homes will be built. The City’s costs include land acquisition, transfer of title, utility disconnects, asbestos testing and abatement, and demolition. Ameren Missouri, Laclede Gas and Missouri American Water Company are donating free disconnect and reconnection services. Following clearing of the property, the City will transfer titles to the properties to Habitat free of charge. Habitat will recruit and select eligible persons to be accepted into the program. Habitat will also recruit volunteers to help the applicants with construction of the new homes as well as providing construction planning (including architectural plans), trade skills (plumbing, electrical, etc.) and obtaining donations from local companies. Construction of the new homes, including sweat equity by the new owners, will be under the direction of Habitat.

By the end of 2016 the City of Hazelwood and Habitat for Humanity started or completed work on 5 of the 12 properties. You can see a news story on one of the new home owners here.