Habitat for Humanity begins new Centreville project
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 email@example.com.
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.