New Habitat Home in Old Town Ames

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AMES, Iowa -- A new home under construction in Old Town Ames is giving two people a first chance at home ownership. Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa has built dozens of homes, but this project is unlike any other.

Volunteers broke ground on the first wheelchair accessible build back in May. The duplexes will be home to Jason Cantonwine and Shelley Jaspering. The two friends pitched their idea to Habitat about a year and a half ago.

“We both wanted an affordable place to live that would be set up for our needs,” said Jaspering.

“At first we thought, how could we do this duplex?” asked Sandi Risdal, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa.

With the help of Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa, the project took off. Cantonwine and Jaspering helped design their individual homes. She wanted lower kitchen counters for cooking. He wanted a bigger bathroom to accommodate his wheelchair. Both will have about 1100 square feet of living space.

“I'll have full access in my house. That's pretty amazing. I haven't had that for 17 years,” said Cantonwine.

Work should be complete in early October. The soon-to-be homeowner say they can’t wait to move in.

“The more I can do on my own, the better for my confidence and independence,” said Jaspering.

For the volunteers, that’s makes this Habitat build even more special.

“Yes, it's a very special build,” said Risdal.

The Ames based Habitat for Humanity builds one to two new homes a year. This is their 49th housing project.