Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity be­gins new Cen­tre­ville project

Record Observer - - NEWS -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity broke ground April 12 at 314 Lit­tle Kid­well Av­enue on the first home build in Queen Anne’s County.

Hosted by THFH Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Wil­liam Clemens, Clemens was joined by Pres­i­dent Michael Fos­ter, and An­drew Han­son, Geral­dine Kamin­sky, and Daphine Croom, the Board of Di­rec­tors of Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat and fu­ture home­owner, Roza­line Spence.

Also in at­ten­dance were Town of Cen­tre­ville coun­cil mem­ber Jeff Mor­gan; Town Man­ager Steve Walls; Michael Clark, Chief of Hous­ing and Fam­ily Ser­vices; from the Queen Anne’s Cham­ber of Com­merce, Linda Fri­day; Con­stituent Li­ai­son Rachel Rose­brock, Con­gress­man Andy Har­ris’ of­fice; and Tor­chio Ar­chi­tects of Cen­tre­ville, Greg Tor­chio, who de­signed the home and site lay­out.

Tuck­a­hoe (THFH) is ex­cited to hold this ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for its first new con­struc­tion project in Queen Anne’s County, said Clemens. THFH has built 16 new homes and re­habbed one home in Caro­line County since its in­cep­tion in 1994, and is cur­rently work­ing on two other homes in Den­ton; the first of which should be com­pleted by the fall of 2017.

The home in Cen­tre­ville will be the first of many homes in Queen Anne’s county, said Clemens, where there is a crit­i­cal need for af­ford­able hous­ing. THFH’s goal is to pro­vide af­ford­able, en­ergy ef­fi­cient hous­ing to as many homeown­ers as they are able. “We feel that pro­vid­ing safe, af­ford­able hous­ing to our hard work­ing fam­i­lies in our com­mu­ni­ties, is a grass roots so­lu­tion to many our ex­ist­ing prob­lems.”

Al­though this is the first project in Queen Anne’s of this scale, THFH has been pro­vid­ing hous­ing repair so­lu­tions for the past three years in Queen Anne’s County, and has com­pleted over $250,000 worth of re­pairs in that time.

Mort­gage pay­ments on a THFH home is well be­low the cost of a rental for most area homes, and this in­cludes prin­ci­pal and es­crow for taxes and in­surance. To make the hous­ing af­ford­able, Clemens ex­plained that they sell the homes to their fam­i­lies at no profit, with no or low in­ter­est mort­gages.

To save on over­head, rather than pay­ing a con­trac­tor to build our homes, we use vol­un­teers and DOC la­bor in ad­di­tion to the part­ner fam­ily hours to build the homes; all to­taled, there are over 1200 vol­un­teer hours in each new home, ex­plained Clemens. And they price the home to match the in­come and mort­gage; al­ways sell­ing be­low their cost, he said.

Fam­i­lies are se­lected to par­tic­i­pate with Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat based on a need for de­cent hous­ing — this could mean that the fam­ily’s cur­rent home has struc­tural or func­tional prob­lems; their cur­rent home could be very over­crowded; the rent could be ex­tremely high; or there could be un­healthy sit­u­a­tions, such as mold, pests or ver­min. Their abil­ity to pay — THFH makes sure that the fam­ily has suf­fi­cient in­come and low enough debt to be able to pay for a Habi­tat home over the long term. One of THFH goal’s not to set a fam­ily up for fail­ure by build­ing a home that they can’t af­ford to pay for – rather to en­sure their suc­cess. And last, the fam­ily’s will­ing­ness to part­ner — THFH asks each fam­ily to con­trib­ute be­tween 350 and 450 hours of la­bor (Sweat Eq­uity) build­ing their home, along­side vol­un­teers from the com­mu­nity.

Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity and Lowe’s in­vites women to build along­side fu­ture homeown­ers dur­ing the 10th an­nual Na­tional Women Build Week, May 6 through 14. Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat is one of 300 Habi­tat or­ga­ni­za­tions na­tion­wide host­ing Women Build projects dur­ing the week with sup­port from Lowe’s, a long­time part­ner in the event.

On May 6, 11 and 13 lo­cal vol­un­teers will be work­ing on two sep­a­rate homes and one re­hab in part­ner­ship with fu­ture homeown­ers. The group will be work­ing on the home on Lit­tle Kid­well in Cen­tre­ville on May 13.

Na­tional Women Build Week brings to­gether women to de­vote at least one day to build­ing de­cent and af­ford­able hous­ing in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Nearly 100,000 women from all 50 states have vol­un­teered in pre­vi­ous years.

“We are ex­cited to par­tic­i­pate in the 10th an­nual Na­tional Women Build Week,” said Clemens, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity. “This is a great op­por­tu­nity for women of all skill lev­els to come to­gether to help a fam­ily build a de­cent and af­ford­able place they can call home, and we are grate­ful to Lowe’s for their fi­nan­cial and vol­un­teer sup­port.”

Lowe’s helped launch Na­tional Women Build Week in 2008. Each year, the com­pany pro­vides the sup­port of Lowe’s He­roes vol­un­teers and con­ducts how-to clin­ics at stores to teach vol­un­teers con­struc­tion skills. This year, Lowe’s con­trib­uted nearly $2 mil­lion to Na­tional Women Build Week.

Since its part­ner­ship be­gan in 2003, Lowe’s has com­mit­ted more than $63 mil­lion to Habi­tat and helped nearly 6,500 fam­i­lies im­prove their liv­ing con­di­tions.

Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity is a Chris­tian hous­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion started in 1994, ded­i­cated to build­ing sim­ple, de­cent, af­ford­able homes, and to re­pair­ing and up­grad­ing homes for low-in­come fam­i­lies in Caro­line and Queen Anne’s Coun­ties, in part­ner­ship with churches, or­ga­ni­za­tions, cit­i­zens and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties.

It has com­pleted 16 new homes thus far, and num­ber 17 will be fin­ished in fall 2017.

No con­struc­tion skills are nec­es­sary to par­tic­i­pate in this year’s project. To vol­un­teer or do­nate, call 410-4799200 or email mser­vice1@ com­cast.net.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Na­tional Women Build Week, visit www.Habi­tat. org/wb.

To learn about other ways to sup­port THFH — the or­ga­ni­za­tion is in need of com­mit­ted board mem­bers to help steer THFH into the fu­ture, along with var­i­ous com­mit­tee mem­bers who bring their skills to the ta­ble. They are also al­ways look­ing for job site vol­un­teers, con­trac­tors will­ing to sup­port and as­sist, and do­na­tions of cash and build­ing sup­plies, over 95% of all do­nated re­sources go back into the lo­cal econ­omy — con­tact Bill Clemens at 410-479-9200 or e-mail cchfh@com­cast.net.

From left, fu­ture home­owner Roza­line Spence, Tuck­a­hoe Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Pres­i­dent Michael Fos­ter and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Wil­liam Clemens break ground on the new project at Lit­tle Kid­well Av­enue in Cen­tre­ville.

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