Habitat and Dorchester Churches to dedicate Ecumenical Build Home

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Habitat for Humanity Choptank Cambridge resident Yevette Askins will purchase the ecumenical build home. Here, Ms. Askins completes some of her 300 hours of sweat equity at a Habitat home under construction in Easton. Sweat equity is the labor a Habitat homebuyer must invest in advance of settlement in order to qualify for purchasing a home.

CAMBRIDGE — A second homebuyer will have the opportunity to purchase a home with Habitat Choptank this year thanks to a partnership with Dorchester County churches. The community is invited to the home dedication on Dec. 6, at 9 a.m. to celebrate the completion of the Dorchester County Ecumenical Build home at 501 Edgewood Ave. in Cambridge. Following a brief program to welcome the homebuyer and family home for the holidays, there will be refreshments and the opportunity to tour the home.
The Dorchester County Ecumenical Build is making history as the first faith build in the county. In a faith build, a coalition of congregations come together to build a Habitat home. The churches have raised over $96,000 for construction costs and have provided the labor and prayer support. Habitat provided the lot, house plans, and construction supervision, and has prepared a qualifying partner family to purchase the home with a zero-interest Habitat mortgage. Habitat Choptank will sell the home at no profit to Cambridge resident Yevette Askins, a nursing assistant at Chesapeake Woods Center.
This project was over a year in the making. Community members approached Habitat about organizing a faith build as a way to promote dialogue among area churches and collaborate for the community. In the intervening months, this project became even more important as Habitat Choptank was able to qualify four new homebuyers for its affordable home ownership program in Dorchester. Prior to the ecumenical build, Habitat’s building capacity in Dorchester has been one new construction home a year. At this rate, it would be 2017 before the fourth family could purchase a home.
“That’s too long for a qualified buyer to be in our pipeline,” explains Habitat Choptank Executive Director Nancy Andrew. “In four years, their income may not have kept pace with rising construction costs and we’d be at risk of selling that family a home they could not afford.” The Ecumenical Build has provided much needed resources to double production in 2014. Nearly 20 churches participated in the project along with many individual donors and volunteers who contributed their time and financial support.
Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 63 families. After completing “sweat equity” hours and pre-homeownership classes, these families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume responsibility for repaying an interest-free Habitat mortgage. Habitat homeowners pay property taxes and homeowners’ insurance at the same rate as any other local property owner. Applications for the home ownership program are accepted throughout the year.
For more information about Habitat, to volunteer or make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

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