Habitat for Humanity Choptank Dedicates 47th Home

On a sunny Saturday morning, friends and family, volunteers, and supporters came together on Clay Street in Easton to celebrate Mary Anderson’s successful passage to homeownership and the dedication of Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s 47th home. Music was provided by the Union Baptist Church Choir, of which Anderson is a member. Susan Devlin, Habitat Choptank’s executive director, presented Anderson with a Bible, and children from Christ Church Day School came forward to give a welcome basket to the family.

“We spent a lot of Saturdays out here hammering nails, explained Marge Opalski, Anderson’s Habitat sponsor as she introduced the Anderson family to the audience. “We’ve had a lot of fun together.”

In the process to becoming a homeowner, every Habitat partner family is paired with a volunteer sponsor. The families are required to complete 300-400 hours of sweat equity, attend life skills seminars, and save money for costs at settlement.

After receiving the keys to her new home, Anderson thanked those in attendance for their work and support. “I know you all got sick of seeing me out here,” Anderson joked, referring to her regular visits to Clay Street to check on progress during her home’s construction. “But today this is wonderful and I’m so thankful.”

Anderson’s home is one of the first two units completed in Habitat Choptank’s Milestone on Clay development. Milestone on Clay is a non-profit joint venture between Habitat for Humanity Choptank and Elm Street Development, a for-profit developer, and the first of its kind on the Eastern Shore. When completed, the site will hold 10 duplex units. Five units will be Habitat homes sold to qualifying low income Talbot County residents. The other five, of which the first is also finished, will be allotted, through the Easton Workforce Housing Lottery, to qualifying moderate income residents.

The project began with the removal of eight substandard rental units on the property. The replacement duplexes being constructed on the site were carefully designed to fit the character of the neighborhood. Design service was generously donated by local architect Lauren Dianich of Atelier 11.

As a mixed-income project within walking distance of schools, the public library, churches, and the downtown shopping district, Milestone on Clay will provide ten working families with the opportunity to invest in the community where they work.

Habitat for Humanity of Choptank is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in Dorchester and Talbot counties. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has worked in partnership with volunteers, churches, community organizations, businesses, and its future homeowners to help 47 local working families achieve homeownership.

Each Habitat home is the result of a community effort made possible by hundreds of supporters, volunteers, and the partner family/future homeowner. Through these combined efforts, Habitat is able to construct simple, decent affordable homes that can be sold at cost with a no interest mortgage to working families.

To learn more about Habitat, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-820-6186.

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