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Community and family help build a new home

The Lloyd family celebrates getting the keys to their new home, built by Palouse Habitat for Humanity, at the house’s dedication on April 30.

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The Palouse chapter of Habitat for Humanity (PHFH) welcomed the Lloyd family into their new home on Sunday after 13 months of construction. The official welcoming ceremony took place at the new home in Moscow.

Project coordinator Dave Ostrom supervised the build to make sure it fit Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. Applicants go through a selection process based on their need for a new home. The chosen family also needs to be employed so they have the financial stability to pay off their mortgage, Ostrom said. In the case of the Lloyds, the family owned a two-bedroom house, forcing all three children to live in one room.

PHFH Board President Doug Arlt led the ceremony introduction while Bishop Matt Zollinger gave the opening prayer. Arlt thanked the volunteers for their time and effort and explained that the Lloyd family was not just “given” a house, but that they have a zero-interest mortgage on their new home.

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Moscow councilmember Jim Boland said the Palouse area has great communities; every person needs help from time to time, and this project proves the community’s greatness.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said that working with PHFH’s fundraiser Beans ’n’ Jeans over the years has been a pleasure and that Pullman has worked closely with Moscow in order to raise funds to build homes like the Lloyd’s. Seeing people from Pullman volunteer and getting regular updates every Wednesday allows Pullman to stay in tune, he said.

Potlatch Mayor David Brown thanked the donators who provided the building plots to PHFH after they found out about the program. The community was proud that they were able to give the family the land, he said.

Chosen speaker Tom Gooch, who also kept Mayor Johnson informed about the project, said he had a lot of fun working with Jonathan Lloyd and his wife.

“If you ever need to move a 300-pound piano, he’s the guy to call because [Jonathan] just lifts it on his shoulder and walks away with it,” Gooch said.

During her hands-on experience building her home, Christy Lloyd learned how to frame a wall, how to sheet rock and about mudding and taping. She also acquired new woodworking and financial budgeting skills from homeownership classes.

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Construction supervisor Dave Stradley thanked all of the volunteers and the group of dedicated craftsmen for their thousands of hours of help on the project. These groups supervised many other community volunteers and showed phenomenal dedication, he said.

Construction committee chairman Brent Bradbury explained that the “Codger Crew” does not only work on building houses, they also help low-income homeowners maintain their houses. While a codger generally means “a physically mature person,” the crew will make exceptions and always needs more volunteers, Bradbury said.

Local community organizations then presented housewarming gifts to the Lloyds. The “Codger Crew” gave the family a specially designed step stool with three different heights. The campaign Stock the Shelves provided the Lloyds with groceries to help them settle in. Palouse Patchers gave each of the three children and the parents with a quilt, while the local Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) chapter gifted the family a box of toys.

The Lloyd family gave their thanks to everyone who was a part of the project. Christy said there were too many people to thank, but she was grateful to everyone, no matter how they helped. The “Codger Crew” became like “awkward uncles” to her, she said.

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“They are so fun and hilarious,” Christy said. “Being the only girl usually, the ‘Codger Crew’ would tease me, and I would tease them back.”

At the end of the welcoming ceremony, Virginia Martinson, sponsor family for the Lloyds, presented them with a Bible. Ostrom officially handed over the keys to their home, and Zollinger led the final prayer. Volunteers and Dutch Bros provided refreshments.

Habitat for Humanity is accepting new volunteers for their next project in Potlatch.

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