YORKVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — From vacant lots to veteran homes – a non-profit is planning a huge construction project in Kendall County.
More than 100 places will be available for military families at an affordable rate. But as CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, there is a big catch.READ MORE: Crews Begin Cleanup Of Grant Park After Lollapalooza
On the 50 acres of abandoned land where the homes are going, you now see messy roads, tangled weeds, and overgrown landscaping. But Rebecca Ropp sees a serene, new life.
“I live in a basement with my 16-year-old son,” Ropp said.
She hopes to own her own home for the first time – living in the affordable housing community planned for the giant plot of land in the middle of Kendall County.
“It would be an amazing gift,” Ropp said.
It was Ropp’s first time on the planned site when she spoke to Victory, who asked her what she thought of the site.
“It’s huge,” Robb said.
So is the catch. There is a June 15 deadline on which the whole project is dependent.
“Are we nervous? Sure,” said Jeffrey Barrett, chief executive officer of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity.
Bartlett explained that Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity is under contract, but needs to cough up $1.2 million in six weeks – or else the project is a bust.READ MORE: Pickpockets Travel More Than 1,000 Miles To Steal Phones At Lollapalooza, But Some Victims Got Their Phones Back
And other developers are licking their lips over the lots.
“As you can see, it has all the roads, all the infrastructure, sewer, water, utilities, fire hydrants, Barrett said. “It’s all in.”
Apparently, all that work happened in the early 2000s. The previously for-profit development venture sat and sat after the housing bubble burst.
“When we looked at it, we said, ‘How can you pass this up?’” Barrett said.
The massive undertaking to build 116 homes will be possible thanks to something called sweat equity.
You have likely seen videos of Habitat for Humanity at work before. Future residents are actually required to help with construction.
“Giving up those man hours to do that for not only my home, to every other home, would be a gratification of unspeakable words,” Robb said.
Indeed, the hard work does not deter Ropp – who served as a torpedoman and gunnersmate in the U.S. Navy.
The entire neighborhood will be dedicated to veterans like her – as long as people come in with those donations to buy the land.
Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity is especially proud of its plan for a huge community center that will offer career counseling, group therapy sessions, and other veteran-related programming.MORE NEWS: Judge Gives Jussie Smollett's Defense Team More Time To Prepare Pre-Trial Arguments
Applications to own one of the Yorkville homes will open up if and when the property is purchased.