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Regional mayors tackle housing crisis at Habitat build

A group photo from the Nov. 9 Habitat for Humanity Mayors Day included (from left) Habitat construction manager Jonathan Fay; Hermantown Mayor Wayne Boucher; Thrivent Financial representative Todd Rengo; Rice Lake Mayor John Werner; Duluth Mayor Emily Larson; Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs; Superior Mayor Jim Paine; Thrivent community engagement leader Tricia Tappe; and Proctor Mayor Phil Larson. Photo by David Clanaugh.1 / 4
Hermantown Mayor Wayne Boucher paints during Habitat for Humanity’s Mayors Day on Nov. 9. Photo by David Clanaugh.2 / 4
Tricia Tappe joins other Habitat for Humanity volunteers in staining wood during the Nov. 9 Mayors Day event. Photo by David Clanaugh.3 / 4
Superior Mayor Jim Paine completes work around a window during Habitat for Humanity’s Mayors Day held Nov. 9. Photo by David Clanaugh.4 / 4

Six regional mayors wielded paint brushes and rollers at the second Twin Ports region Habitat for Humanity house build this year. The mayors gathered Nov. 9 at 710 Weeks Ave. in Superior to partner with the VanHolbeck Family. After applying a first coat of paint, the mayors held a short media conference to share thoughts about the governmental-nonprofit-business partnerships needed to produce more affordable housing in the region.

Superior's Mayor Jim Paine hosted colleagues Wayne Boucher from Hermantown, Emily Larson from Duluth, Phil Larson from Proctor; Chris Swanson from Two Harbors and John Werner from Rice Lake.

WLSHFH dedicated its first new home build in seven years in late July at 1001 N. Seventh St. in Superior. This project with the Dakota-Simiyu Family engaged the city, numerous businesses, churches, service clubs and individuals.

As a four-county organization, WLSHFH is laying groundwork for projects in Duluth and Superior in 2018 and exploring how to build a house in Lake County in 2019. Outreach has resumed in Carlton County, with plans for next year to conduct repair projects in all four counties in partnership with elder homeowners.

WLSHFH builds strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families and communities. By partnering with future homeowners, the community environment improves for everyone. To learn more and support the effort, visit wlshabitat.org.

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