Emphasizing their latest McCreary County Extreme Build House is built on solid rock, members of Kentucky Baptist Fellowship happily handed the keys of a brand new house to Esther McCartt and Geneva Yancey during a celebration ceremony on Saturday. Obviously touched during the ceremony, the cousins thanked everyone for their help and support and invited everyone to come visit them sometime-even if just for a glass of iced tea.
McCartt and Yancey are cousins who were raised like sisters. This year’s house was a rebuild of the cousins’ home, which had been in the family for decades and had suffered significant fire damage in 2012. The damaged home was demolished, and a new house took its place. The build was completed in ten days.
As part of a rural poverty initiative known as Together for Hope, Extreme Build seeks to improve the quality of housing in McCreary County one family at a time. For the past ten summers, more than 125 volunteers from across Kentucky and other states have given their time, money, and energy to build a house for a family in McCreary County.
Extreme Build homes are applied for and received at affordable rates by residents of McCreary County who otherwise could not qualify for a house. Recipients must attend home ownership classes as well as correct any past credit issues. Funding for the home is comprised of USDA loans, grants, donated funds, donated labor, and gifts in kind. The recipient is not required to pay a down payment, but they must buy a prepaid homeowners policy before the build begins.
Extreme Build is a joint partnership between McCreary County Community Housing Development Corporation (McCHDO), Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, USDA Rural Development, Together for Hope, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Kentucky Baptist Fellowship. Local organizations including Olive Branch Ministries, Hills and Hollers Ministries, and Whitley City First Baptist Church help make the builds possible.