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New Habitat home finished for north Forsyth family of eight
The McKinzie family - photo by For the FCN

NORTH FORSYTH — One local family of eight recently opened the doors to their new home, thanks to a partnership with a nonprofit and their own hard work.

Brian and Amanda McKinzie and their six children got the keys to the new home after helping to build it with Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia, the General Motors Foundation and teamGM Cares Volunteers from GM’s Atlanta IT Innovation Center.

The community came together Sept. 19 to celebrate its completion.

Brian has worked for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years, and his family’s new home is on the same street in Forsyth as four others built by Habitat.

Their children range in age from 1 to 14 years old. They had previously all been staying in a two-bedroom cabin in north Forsyth and living off of one salary.

“The GM employees worked side by side with the McKinzie family to build their home in just four months,” said Russ Hayes, CEO of Habitat.

The local project is funded by a $1 million grant from the GM Foundation to Habitat for Humanity International. The grant will fund nine home builds in the U.S., with the goal of assisting current and former military service members.

Two additional grant-funded projects will take place in Brazil and Nepal.

The local Habitat chapter is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that builds affordable homes for purchase by low-income families who demonstrate the capacity for responsible homeownership.

Since its inception in 1995, the local branch has completed 274 homes serving an estimated 1,000 family members in the North Fulton area and Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties.

Habitat does not give away its homes. Partner families, who earn 30 to 60 percent of the Atlanta area median income, buy their homes at or near appraised value using 30-year no-interest financing provided by Habitat.

In addition, each partner family is required to attend educational classes and perform 200-300 hours of construction “sweat equity” on their home.