GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A local nonprofit made history. Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity won Best in Affordability for a new two bedroom design built with volunteer labor. This is the second consecutive year Grand Island has took home the award, and they’re the first to do so in consecutive years.

Officials said it’s fantastic to win the award. Adding, winning it again was shocking to them because of the selection process.

“I didn’t even think it would be possible because this isn’t a category you can enter to win,” said Alyssa Heagy, Executive Director for Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity. “It’s selected by the panel of judges. So you can’t say I want to be best in affordability when you the competition, you have to enter under a different category.”

Heagy said winning the award represents how Habitat for Humanity utilizes materials. Some of the changes in design they made was removing a hallway. Voters pointed out GIHH’s dedication to creating homes that meet the needs of their community as a core value that set them apart.

“The Building Committee is dedicated to building affordable housing, they look at everything,” Heagy said. “So when we put bids out we don’t just take the lowest one but we question is that the most affordable option.”

Heagy said Habitat for Humanity considers affordability in every decision, even when it comes to selecting trim packages and cabinets. They also will have a new lead man for housing projects. He was drawn to Habitat for Humanity by one thing.

“I think just the mission,” said Brett Forsman, Interim Construction Manager. “The mission of habitat, building affordable housing for the community of Grand Island. I see the need through my profession and the kids that I teach, and just being able to give back and helping the kids understand the importance of giving back to their community.”

Forsman is taking on the role of interim construction manager on May 1, and said it’s a good fit for him because he had been working with Habitat for Humanity for 10 years. Forsman has agreed to be interim construction manager until the end of the year. He also teaches construction at GIPS Career Pathway Institute, and the home his students help build won the award.