An affordable housing development in Joplin was brought back on track by a donation from Land Development Group

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Finding a home can be difficult — and finding an affordable one can be even harder. However, a single donation could make all the difference in the lives of those in need.

KSN’s Steffen Reals takes us to the site of a micro-housing duplex in Joplin — looking to be a future home.

“There are four organizations teaming up for this, and that’s pretty meaningful, the teamwork to try and help people out and working together to make that happen,” said David McCune, Land Development Group Director of Business.

Since 2019 the “Joplin United Micro-Housing Partnership” has been working to create greater housing options for those in need.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, Habitat for Humanity, One Joplin and the Fuller House came together because we wanted to address the affordable housing need in Joplin, and this is the first project that we started,” said John Lunardini, Purpose Home Repair Senior VP of Operations.

The micro-housing duplex project was born — but it faced several issues when the pandemic began, one of the biggest included connecting the unit to Joplin’s sewer system.

“It’s a lot harder to find people to do jobs, material costs have gone up, the cost of labor. We were seeing a 20 percent increase overall. When you’re building a home like this, staying within budget is key,” said Lunardini.

Word started to spread about the problem until it reached “Land Development Group” who decided to help cover the costs.

“This is something where someone is trying to help others get in a house and that is something we’re passionate about, so we thought, if we have the skills, let’s definitely help. This is something we’ve done many many times, we thought ‘Oh shoot that’s perfect, we can definitely help with that,” said McCune.

If all goes according to plan, this means the duplex can finally become a home by the holidays.

“They are much more energy efficient and they are also very storm resistant. When you’re low-income, and affordable housing, anything we can do to reduce their housing cost just means it will make their lives a little better,” said Lunardini.

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