The open house held on Tuesday, May 7, in east Dodge marked the third year that the Community Housing Association of Dodge City and Dodge City Community College have partnered to build a new, moderately priced home.

CHAD was actually able to build two units this year, thanks to a resourceful design from Dana Williamson of McMillan Architects in Dodge City.

Williamson designed a three-bed, two-bath duplex with attached garage at 510 E. Brier makes the most of the property – a narrow corner lot that fronts a large drainage canal.

So what was a virtually un-improvable site now hosts units for two hard-working, moderate-income families.

The CHAD program creates desperately needed affordable housing in Dodge City, and the program’s dollars go further by partnering with the DCCC Building Construction Technology program. Funds for the project come in part from a Moderate Income Housing grant from the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation.

The KHRC has also agreed to fund at least two rehab projects on Avenue A and Avenue E. The property at 806 Westlawn has been purchased for next year’s new construction.

CHAD provides the materials and the DCCC Building Construction students provide the labor.

DCCC students get the opportunity to build a house from start to finish – learning their trade on a real home that a real family will buy and raise kids in.

Local contractors are always a big help as well, contributing instruction and dispensing their years of experience.

Many of the DCCC students are already employed part-time with local contractors

Constructing a house from the ground up with a group of enthusiastic students over the course of two semesters can be a bit like herding cats, but Pat Shiew, DCCC professor of Construction Technology said.

"This was a great group of students," Shiew said. "It’s quite a challenge to complete a build like this on time, but I was proud of their teamwork and persistence throughout paid off."

The program allows CHAD to help build a workforce while building the community.

With a huge contractor shortage in the area, Shiew sees many benefits to the partnership.

"It’s really a privilege for Dodge City Community College to partner with CHAD on such an admirable project," Shiew said. "The CHAD program is great for the city and great for the college. It’s a real win-win for the community."

CHAD Housing Coordinator Mollea Wainscott said that the buyers of the program’s first house may be in the market for a larger home and are definitely interested in this year’s CHAD house.

Wainscott said the owners reported that they haven’t had to spend any money on their house for repairs or anything "other than what they wanted to spend it on, like landscaping and aesthetic improvements.

"That’s a testament to the quality work and materials that went into building their house," Wainscott said.

The DCCC students are still finishing up a few details, but the homes will be on the market soon – expected to be listed at $100k each for the 1,280-square-foot homes.