Volunteers now sought for latest project in Falls
Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity celebrated the first Saturday in June with a groundbreaking on their newest Habitat for Humanity home in Niagara County, a four-bedroom new build on 61st Street in Niagara Falls. The home continues Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity’s mission to help families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. The 4-bedroom home will be the 31st Habitat home built in Niagara County and 28th in Niagara Falls since 1993.
Mayor of Niagara Falls Robert Restaino, Habitat board members, sponsors, volunteers, and community members gathered at the 61st Street site for a groundbreaking ceremony, putting shovels in the ground to commemorate the start of the project.
“Habitat homes in Niagara Falls have a major tangible impact in our community beyond just the homeowner” said Habitat executive director Gina Beam. “Each year, our homeowners contribute more than $70,000 in property taxes back to the community, helping to fund our schools, roads, police, and firemen.”
Thanks to a partnership with National Fuel, the 31st Habitat home will become a Net Zero home, the second such home built by Habitat in Niagara County, according to the Habitat release. The home will be built using energy efficient construction, combined with the use of high efficiency natural gas equipment and a solar panel system. These practices ensure a Net Zero home minimizes carbon emissions while simultaneously making the home more affordable by reducing the homeowner’s monthly energy costs.
“In this home, through the use of solar panels and high efficiency insulation and HVAC systems, we will create a home that produces as much energy as it uses, resulting in a lower energy bills’’ Beam said. “We want to build in ways that contribute to the sustainability of our planet, and we want to make change in our communities that is both transformational and sustainable.”
The lucky future homeowner of the 61st Street home will be determined by Habitat later this year.
Habitat families receive their home through an affordable, low-interest mortgage with no family paying more than 30% of their monthly income toward their mortgage payments. Families in Habitat’s program are required to volunteer 500 hours of sweat equity working alongside community volunteers to build their future home. In order to prepare for homeownership, families take a required first time homebuyer course, as well as courses on financial literacy, budgeting, and home maintenance.
Habitat is currently seeking volunteers, as they start work on the project. Interested volunteers are encouraged to call Marco Notaro at 716-265-9010 or email [email protected].
About Habitat for Humanity
Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity works to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through homeownership. Niagara Area Habitat was established in 1993 by a group of dedicated volunteers to address the lack of affordable housing in Niagara County and has built 29 homes for families in Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda. To create homeownership opportunities for low-income families, Niagara Area Habitat subsidizes the cost of homes through donations (both monetary and materials) and volunteer labor. Families that purchase homes through our program are required to first contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” as their down payment, working alongside community volunteers to construct their home and the houses of other families in the program. Once approved, families purchase their homes from Niagara Area Habitat by paying an affordable, low-interest, monthly mortgage. For more information, visit www.niagarahabitat.org.