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Kalamazoo contractors race to build an affordable house in two days

Kalamazoo contractors race to build an affordable house in two days. (WWMT/Andrew Bisset)

Contractors are in a race against the clock to complete an ambitious project in the Eastside neighborhood of Kalamazoo.

Contractors are hammering away to build an affordable home in 48 hours and there is no time to waste to finish the home before Friday afternoon. The project is expected to help revitalize the neighborhood and the workers are volunteers.

Scott DeLoof, DeLoof Builders, said, “It's good to just take a step back and help the community, give one day of my time. I have no problem with that.”

More than 30 contractors have a hand in building the house and no one is getting paid. It is a community service project called "Fast Build" for the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Western Michigan.

They hope the project helps bring new energy to an unused plot of land in the Eastside neighborhood.

Jeff Tafel, HBA of Western Michigan, said, “They're so excited that this investment is being made in this part of town. And they really feel like this is going to give this boost just to get the east side back on the map.”

Kelly Clarke, Kalamazoo County Landbank, said, “We've seen demolitions happening here over the last five decades. So, it is so exciting to see housing coming back up where we've had vacant land and where we used to have homes.”

The two-bedroom affordable home will also be energy efficient.

The house is on the market, but the HBA said they have a special kind of buyer in mind.

Tafel said, “This house is already listed on the MLS but if a veteran is interested, there are programs available to substantially reduce the price for veterans.”

The MLS is a listing for real estate and homes for sale.

DeLoof said,”We have brave people in our armed forces. There's no reason why is as citizens of this country can't give back for a couple days.”

Though it is no small feat, the volunteers say the work they're volunteering for is priceless.

Dan Martz, Martz Home Builders, LLC, said, “It's the sacrifice that they've made for us. So, giving up two days of work is pretty small.”

The building is expected to wrap up for 1 a.m. Friday and start again at 6 a.m. Friday. Builders hop the have the entire house finished between noon and 2 p.m. Friday.

DeLoof said “It's cool to see everybody come out and donate their time and take a day from their real jobs to come out and do this.”

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