First Home in Hurlock
August 2017 – On the first Saturday in August, the Town of Hurlock welcomed a new home owner to the community. The home was purchased by Hurlock resident Tynita Cummings, who works with the Caroline County Department of Social Services.
This is the first house that Habitat Choptank has completed in North Dorchester County. It is also the 73rd home ownership opportunity that the nonprofit has created since concerned citizens in Talbot County began organizing around the issue of affordable housing 25 years ago and affiliated with Habitat for Humanity. The affiliate expanded to include Dorchester County in 2008 as the result of efforts made by local residents who saw unmet housing needs in Cambridge.
The Charles Street house was a new construction build. While modest in size at 1,056 square feet, the house Cummings has 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.
Construction began on the home in April 2016. The property was donated to Habitat by the Town of Hurlock. Following this sale, Habitat Choptank is beginning work on its second home. The next Hurlock build site will be on Jackson Street where Habitat has three lots ready for development. These properties were purchased several years ago with a grant from the Nathan Foundation in anticipation of Habitat’s expansion into North Dorchester County. More local volunteers are needed for construction. No prior skills are required; just a willingness to learn and support the Habitat mission.
Lowe's Aging in Place
June 2017 – Habitat for Humanity Choptank has been awarded a $40,000 grant from Lowe’s to participate in the revitalization of the Historic Pine – High Street area in Cambridge as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization, a nationwide program dedicated to serving more families through community development partnerships. Lowe’s awarded $1.75 million in grants to 22 Habitat affiliates across the country to support more than 84 community improvement projects ranging from critical repairs to new home construction. Habitat for Humanity Choptank will use the funds to complete critical exterior home repairs for eligible homeowners in the community. The program will focus on safety and accessibility improvements as well as repairs to correct code violations.
Home Dedication #72 - The Women Build House
April 2017 – 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. 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.
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 $100,000 to fund the purchase of materials as well as the install of the roof and mechanical systems.
ReStore Presents Big Check
November 2016 – Habitat for Humanity Choptank volunteers, staff and board members celebrated a milestone at their ReStore’s sixth anniversary event. A ceremonial check in the amount of $543,985 was revealed representing the cumulative net income the discount home improvement center has generated since it opened in October 2010. Funds raised by the ReStore are invested into Habitat Choptank’s mission and affordable home ownership program in Dorchester and Talbot counties.
Celebrating our Volunteers
October 2016 – Local Habitat volunteers, supporters and future home buyers came together for an evening dinner at Trappe United Methodist Church to celebrate Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s progress. Over the last fiscal year, the nonprofit home builder screened 236 intakes for its home ownership program, qualified 5 new home buyer candidates, finished 3 new homes for a total of 69homes completed historically, had 8 other homes under construction, and completed 38 weatherization projects through its expanded housing services. These accomplishments were made possible by 506 volunteers who contributed 28,364 hours of service working in construction, helping at the office and tackling special projects, serving on committees and the Board, and volunteering at the ReStore.
Home Sale #69
April 2016 – Family, friends, neighbors and elected officials along with volunteers and donors, gathered on Saturday, April 16th to celebrate the 69th affordable home ownership opportunity created by Habitat Choptank. The house at 312 Salmon Avenue in Easton was a rehab project. It had sat vacant and boarded before Habitat Choptank purchased it in 2015 with plans for both interior and exterior improvements including energy efficiency upgrades.
1880 Bank Makes Lead Gift for Corporate Support
November 2015 – 1880 Bank is increasing its support for affordable home ownership in Dorchester and Talbot
counties through an expanded partnership with Habitat for Humanity Choptank. The bank, which has been investing in self-help housing since Habitat began building in Dorchester County 10 years ago, has generously stepped forward with the lead contribution for Habitat’s new corporate giving program.
“1880 Bank takes pride in a tradition of serving our neighborhoods and investing in our customers and communities,” explains Kim C. Liddell, chairman, president and CEO of Delmarva Bancshares, Inc. and 1880 Bank. “Partnering with Habitat Choptank to give more of our neighbors an opportunity to purchase a home makes sense. Just as our local team of employees work to provide a strong, safe and sound bank, we recognize that safe and stable homes are critical to successful families and healthy communities.”
For additional information, visit www.1880bank.com.
Home Sale #67
Weatherization Program for Area Home Owners
July 2015 – Easton Utilities and Habitat for Humanity Choptank have teamed up to help low- and moderate-income homeowners improve energy efficiency and lower their monthly utility bills. Funded by the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) 2015 EmPower Clean Energy Communities Low to Moderate Income (LMI) grant, the “Power Up” initiative will deploy up to $170,000 in cost-effective energy efficiency measures that may include air duct sealing, appliance replacement, insulation, HVAC replacement and window replacement.
Participants in the Power Up program will receive a home energy audit by a certified auditor who will identify weatherization and HVAC upgrades appropriate for each home. Based on the audit, certified contractors will install the upgrades. The Power Up program will fund upgrades of up to $5,000 per home for projects not involving a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system replacement and a maximum of $8,000 per home for a project involving an HVAC system replacement. Power Up will fund 100% of the project costs.
To be considered for participation in the program, prospective low- to moderate-income homeowners should call (410) 819-3412. Participants must be Talbot County homeowners. A separate program is available to Dorchester County home owners; call the Habitat Choptank office for more information at 410-476-3204.
LMI households are defined as those that earn less than 85% of the County median Income, which for Talbot is $79,800 and in Dorchester is $60,100. A Talbot County family of four must earn less than $67,850 to be considered moderate income and less than $47,880 to be considered low income. For Dorchester home owners, those numbers are $63,250 and $44,640 respectively. Income guidelines are adjusted for household size by county. Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and projects funded up to the limit of the funds available from the Maryland Energy Administration. All work must be completed by the end of September 2015.
ReImagine ReStore design challenge a hit
May 2015 – The Habitat Choptank ReStore was recently the site of a showdown. Six design teams competed in ReImagine ReStore with the challenge of decorating a 10’ x 12’ empty space using items gleaned from the ReStore’s unique and ever-changing inventory of donated furniture and home improvement items. Working in front of a sold-out audience of 300 guests, each team had 60 minutes to complete the design challenge. The participating designers accented their ‘rooms’ by donating new decorative items and furniture. At the end of the event, items from the rooms went on sale. ReImagine ReStore also included a ReBoutique with items on sale that had been repurposed by local artists. Proceeds from the event benefit Habitat Choptank’s affordable home ownership program.
First rehab project completed in Cambridge
February 2015 – Fairmount Avenue in Cambridge recently welcomed a new neighbor and home owner with the sale of Habitat Choptank’s 65th house. The single story home was Habitat Choptank’s first rehab in the City since a Habitat program began organizing in Dorchester County in 2005. Over the past ten years, a total of ten new home ownership opportunities have been created in Cambridge thanks to the support of Habitat donors, funders, community partners and volunteers. The Fairmount house was purchased by Cambridge resident Dominique Demby who is employed as a driver with METAC Group.
Blessing for the Dorchester Ecumenical Build Home
December 2014 – Habitat Choptank recently celebrated the completion of home #64 – made possible through a unique partnership with the ecumenical community in Dorchester County. Area churches raised over $97,000 to fund building costs for the single family home at 501 Edgewood Avenue and provided construction volunteers each week April – December. Habitat Choptank provided the land, construction supervision and a qualifying home buyer. The house was purchased by Cambridge resident and first time home owner Yevette Askins, an employee with Chesapeake Woods Center.
3 Homes, 3 Hardworking Families, 1 Dedication for Homes #60-62
February 2014 – A little rain, cold and mud couldn’t dampen our spirits as we celebrated 3 new homes and 3 new home owners. Congratulations to the Caple, Mannon, and Montiel families for achieving the dream of home ownership. Here, construction supervisor Steve Thomas presents Linda, Silvia and April with their house keys.
Habitat Choptank Going on 60 (VIDEO)
December 2013 – With almost sixty volunteer-built houses under their belt since they started in 1992, The Spy caught up with Habitat Choptank’s director, Nancy Andrew to talk about the full impact of Habitat’s work with their partner families and the extraordinary steps they must take, including eliminating all collectible debt, before they can purchase a home. As Nancy says, “This is not a program that gives away free houses.”