Crew of 70 local women build with Habitat Choptank

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Annie
A rehab project at 443 Oakley St. in Cambridge was one of three Habitat Choptank project sites during National Women Build Week 2015. Here, morning crew volunteers build a shed for the single family home.

CAMBRIDGE — Over 70 volunteers in Dorchester and Talbot County joined with Habitat for Humanity Choptank for National Women Build Week 2015. Women volunteer crews worked on new construction and rehab projects in Cambridge and Easton.  While some of the volunteers arrived with skills, for many these special women build days were unique opportunities to learn construction skills while working alongside future Habitat homebuyers. The week culminated with a home sale and dedication.

During National Women Build Week in 2014, volunteers in Cambridge had tackled interior demolition at 716 Rigby Ave. Over the past year, interior and exterior renovations were completed in the 3-bedroom house by Habitat’s weekly construction volunteers in order to bring it up to the standards for durability and energy efficiency of a new construction Habitat built home.

“It’s exciting to see women on our job sites with hammers and using power tools, maybe for the first time,” says Habitat Choptank executive director Nancy Andrew. “Having a home sale during this special week helped show the real impact that all of our volunteers have on the lives of their hardworking neighbors in need.”  National Women Build Week 2015 is especially important for Habitat Choptank as plans are underway for a Women Build house, with the goal of completing a single family home that is built and funded entirely by women. Groundbreaking on this project is anticipated for fall 2015 once a qualified buyer has been identified.

National Women Build Week is a weeklong event created by Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program that challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. Across the nation, more than 15,000 women are estimated to have volunteered at Habitat construction sites during the week to spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by women.

Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 and each year provides the support of Lowe’s Heroes and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills. Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Habitat Choptank.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 66 working households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build a better future for themselves through home ownership. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses and purchased their home with a 20 to 30-year no-interest Habitat mortgage.

While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first ge percent foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 23 year history. Currently, five buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward the goal of becoming successful home owners.

For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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