EAST PEORIA — Habitat for Humanity gets a house lot for free and a family that needs a home gets a low-cost house.

"It's win-win," said Lea Anne Schmidgall, executive director of the Greater Peoria Habitat for Humanity.

And, the city of East Peoria gets a piece of property it owns off its hands and back on the tax rolls.


The East Peoria City Council approved on Tuesday the donation of two properties it owns and doesn't want to Habitat for Humanity, the local chapter of the global housing charity that wants the properties  to develop for needy families.

The properties are 122 and 139 Cherry Lane in Sunnyland, the section of East Peoria that borders the city of Washington. Habitat will help build a house on the currently empty property at 122 Cherry Lane with the help of a $50,000 donation from the parishioners of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 200 S. Main St., Washington, Schmidgall said. It is the church's third home with Habitat for Humanity.

"The Peoria Area Habitat revitalizes and stabilizes neighborhoods as well as provides learning opportunities for Partner Families throughout their experience with the charity," according to Habitat's promotional maerial. "The group builds homes throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, and Marshall counties for hard-working, first time home-owners earning between the area median income based on HUD Income Guidelines. The home is sold at no profit through a no-interest mortgage. Families volunteer their labor to help build Habitat homes, including the one they will eventually purchase."

East Peoria has a solid history with Habitat for Humanity. The city donated four lots to Habitat in December, 2013, and in 2006 transferred to the charity a property it owned at 125 Putnam Street. The first involvement was in 1996 when the city sold Habitat a property for $10.

"When the city acquires a viable residential or commercial lot we try not to hold onto it any longer than we have to. Our goal is to either sell it or donate it," Wetterow said Tuesday. "When it comes to our residential lots we have a great working relationship with Habitat for Humanity. We try and make them aware of the lots as they come available and see if they have any interest in them. Getting a home built on what is likely a vacant lot is a great thing in our book."

The Cherry Lane property will be the 11the house built by the Peoria Habitat group this year.

"We're pretty busy," Schmigdall said. "We'll have a family identified for the (Sunnyland property) within two weeks."

The second property will be developed later, said Commissioner Seth Mingus who made the donation motion at Tuesday evening's regular council meeting.

"I believe the have targeted that to be a home for a veteran." Mingus said.

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at shilyard@pjtar.com. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.