From its inception 25 years ago, Habitat Choptank has always been about more than houses.

True, Habitat is known for building quality, energy efficient houses with affordable mortgages. The success of the program, however, is dependent upon developing well-prepared homeowners with education, support, and relationships from the first contact to that moment when the keys are handed over at settlement to the follow-through after home ownership.

Getting one’s financial life in order, paying off debt, saving money for closing costs, and contributing hundreds of hours helping to build new homes is a life-changing experience. It is not just the expertise, but the compassionate and caring spirit of the Habitat team that helps sustain home buyers and their families on this journey.

In two-and-a-half decades, Habitat Choptank built 72 homes. In its most recently-completed fiscal year, Habitat Choptank’s operating budget spent $2 million on its mission, completed the acquisition of 10 properties to support future development in Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge, and Hurlock, and engaged 506 individual and group volunteers that shared their time in construction, office and ReStore support, and committee and board work that totaled 28,364 hours in one year.

Habitat Choptank broadened its mission to include Neighborhood Revitalization with the completion of 38 weatherization projects in just one year that will save the average homeowner roughly $400 in annual energy costs. We are just beginning to see the impact of Neighborhood Revitalization can mean as it seeks partnerships with residents and other groups to expand our toolkit of housing products and services and further improve the quality of life for all in our communities.

Additionally, the ReStore, an important income-producing venture where donated furniture, appliances, and construction materials are sold at attractive prices, was moved to a facility with more space to help fund the growth of our programs. And, Habitat’s access to capital that will allow it to expand the number of homes it can build and rehab was increased through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that can provide affordable low-interest mortgages.

Habitat Choptank is successful because of valued partnerships with people of different backgrounds, businesses, governments, and faith and community organizations. These groups and individuals give valuable time and skills to a wide range of needs within our organization as we seek to transform communities and the lives of families in Dorchester and Talbot counties.

A sampling of some of the milestones of the past 25 years highlighted in this newsletter tells the story of many hands doing transforming work in a generous spirit. We say thank you to all who have contributed and ask your continued support as our work goes forward

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February 1992

Talbot Housing Steering Committee Formed

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July 20, 1992

Habitat Incorporated In Talbot County

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April 17, 1993

First Home Sold, Lee Street, St. Michaels

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October 8-9, 1993

First Habitat Neviaser Follies

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April 24, 1998

Home #15 Completed By Women Build

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March 16, 2001

Anne Shakespeare Education Fund For Home Owner Families

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June 21, 2006

Apostles Build House Completed, 23 Talbot churches

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September 29, 2006

Dorchester & Talbot Habitat Partnership Formed

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November 22, 2006

Sale of Home #40; First Rehab Home

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February 2, 2007

First Dorchester Home Sold

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August 17, 2007

Groundbreaking, Milestone on Clay 10 Multi-Family Homes Elm Street Development

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May 6, 2009

Greenbreaking 1st Home Using Sustainable, Energy Efficient Building Practices

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July 29, 2009

Regional Name Change: Habitat Choptank

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November 5, 2010

Habitat Choptank ReStore Opens

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June 29, 2011

St. Michaels Faith Build Home Sold, 3 Local Churches

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September 25, 2014

First Mortgage Burning Celebration

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December 6, 2014

Sale of Dorchester County Ecumenical Build Home, 20 churches participating

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May 16, 2015

Grand Re-Opening Expanded ReStore Location

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September 19, 201

First USDA Mortgage

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April 30, 2016

Groundbreaking First Home in Hurlock

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April 1, 2017

Completion of Second Women Build House and Habitat Choptank’s 72nd Home