Habitat for Humanity: Breaking Ground and Bringing Hope through a Neighborhood Revitalization Project in Lowell, Mass.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (HFHGL) today announced the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing project that is converting reclaimed land at 49-55 Rock Street in Lowell, Mass. into four new homes for local families. The project is part of an ongoing collaboration between the City of Lowell and HFHGL. HFHGL will build 10 percent of the affordable homes in Lowell by 2016.
The new homes are being built in “The Acre” neighborhood, an area where more than 40 percent of the buildings are deteriorated, in need of major repair, or unfit to be inhabited. Phase I of the project will consist of building four new homes on Rock Street, Phase II will add two more homes on adjacent Willie Street and during Phase III of the project, four more homes will be constructed on Rock Street, for a total of 10 homes. This follows the recent completion of six homes by HFHGL on nearby Harmony Way. Additionally, as part of the project, HFHGL will be looking to help senior citizens, veterans and other residents in the “The Acre” neighborhood by having volunteers provide cost-effective repairs or maintenance to their existing homes, expanding the project's revitalization impact to the whole neighborhood.
“We are so grateful to the City of Lowell for their generous donation of the land at Rock Street,” said Kim Trainor, director, community relations for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. “With each Habitat home built, the cycle of poverty takes another step towards extinction. We are looking forward to partnering with the city and our local businesses as we reach our goal of 10 new homes for Lowell families.”
To help with the building and funding of this project, local companies have stepped in to help make this project a reality and turn a former salvage yard into affordable housing. NetScout Systems, Inc. of Westford, Mass. is a major house sponsor for one of the homes, along with Cisco Systems in Boxborough, Mass. Other companies supporting the project include ReMax Prestige of Chelmsford, Mass., Progress Software of Bedford, Mass., and Litle & Co., of Lowell, Mass. Additionally, other sponsors are donating time and material. Students from Greater Lowell Technical High School will build one of the homes on Rock Street, and electricians from the IBEW local 103 will wire each home built by HFHGL for electricity.
“Everyone needs a place to call home. Supporting our neighbors and local families in need is a priority at NetScout,” said Michael Szabados, chief operating officer, NetScout. “Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell's Rock Street project is one of the larger philanthropic efforts for our company. Beyond the financial support, employees will be donating 10 days of service to help families in Lowell achieve something they previously thought impossible – owning a home, where they can raise their family and give back to the community in their own way.”
As a non-profit organization, HFHGL works in partnership with businesses, community groups and individual volunteers to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating simple, decent, energy efficient, affordable homes. Some of the requirements for new home eligibility include falling in the 25-60 percent range for area median income, being able to afford a modest mortgage, and the ability to give 400 hours of “sweat equity” in building the actual home alongside volunteers. Families interested in applying for one of the homes are encouraged to attend an HFHGL informational meeting to understand the requirements and who qualifies to apply for the program.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization which seeks to eliminate substandard housing and provide deserving, low income families, with decent affordable homes. Habitat's success is through volunteer labor, donations and the help of the partner family. Habitat of Greater Lowell has built or rehabilitated 28 homes for families in need in our local community as well as 45 homes globally. Habitat of Greater Lowell has completed its first Critical Repair for a local veteran. Habitat believes in providing a hand up not a hand out to end the cycle of poverty housing. Please visit us at www.lowellhabitat.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at http://www.facebook.com/habitat or at http://www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.