Habitat Choptank sells its 72nd home

EASTON – The first Saturday in April was filled with sunshine, smiles and support as the Velez family celebrated their new home in Easton. The 3-bedroom home on Pleasant Alley, also known as the Women Build House, is the 72nd home that Habitat for Humanity Choptank has completed and sold since the nonprofit started in 1992. Ms. Velez, an employee with Lintons Managed Services working at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center, helped to build the home alongside mostly women construction volunteers and then purchased the home with an affordable mortgage. Family, friends, neighbors and Habitat supporters came together for a house blessing, followed by an opportunity to tour the new home.

For the Pleasant Alley house, Habitat Choptank’s goal was a home built and funded by women. This is the nonprofit’s second such project; the first Women Build House was completed in 1998. Women Build is a program of Habitat for Humanity that empowers and engages women in learning construction skills, building homes and positively impacting their community.

Groundbreaking for this home took place during National Women Build Week in May 2016. Since then, a crew of volunteers has been working regularly on Tuesdays under the direction of construction supervisor Rhodana Fields. On Saturdays, group volunteers from area businesses, churches and community groups lent their time to the building process. In addition to working in construction, women volunteers raised over $96,000 to fund the purchase of materials as well as the install of the roof and mechanical systems.

The home that the Velez family purchased meets Habitat Choptank’s construction standards in terms of quality, sustainability and energy efficiency. The combination of these features with an affordable mortgage produces housing that is more durable, healthier to live in, and more affordable.

Habitat Choptank currently has six other homes in progress. These projects located in Cambridge, Easton and Hurlock are a mix of new construction and rehab houses. The nonprofit homebuilder has plans to begin at least six more home projects between the two counties over the coming year if the funds can be raised to support this revitalization work.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has provided affordable mortgage financing to give hardworking lower-income people who cannot qualify for conventional financing the chance to purchase a home. After completing “sweat equity” hours and pre-homeownership classes, these buyers will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume responsibility for repaying an affordable mortgage.

Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year. Currently, eight buyers are working through the multi-step program.

For more information about Habitat, to volunteer or make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

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