Habitat for Humanity Yearly Report

Habitat

Our church covenant with Habitat for Humanity in part states: to render loving service toward all people; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace.

On the other hand Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity States:

  • Our mission is to build safe and decent housing for families.
  • So children can have healthy, safe homes where they can learn and grow to their full potential.
  • To break down barriers and establish vibrant neighborhoods,
  • To open doors to new opportunities,
  • For the promise of a new start and a better life.
  • Habitat is non-discriminatory

Our Partner Families Come from sub-standard housing, agree to 250-500 hours of sweat equity, have a household income 30%-60% of the median income for Northern Berkshire. They must have the ability to pay a monthly mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, taxes and utilities and they must have lived in Northern Berkshire for at least one year.

Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat International, locally funded through donations, grants and fund raising activities. We receive no financial support from Habitat for Humanity International (HfHI).

We serve the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, North Adams, and Williamstown and Stamford, Vermont and recruit volunteers from local colleges and high schools, churches and men and women living in our communities.

By following the HFHI covenant , we hold and administer the mortgages at 0% interest and the necessary escrow accounts, abide by laws and regulations of the mortgage industry, meet and exceed the most recent building codes, and have very specific house requirements.

We also run another program called Acts of Kindness which is a Habitat program to help deserving low income homeowners with repairs and basic housing needs.

Over the last two years we completed a house for Allison Rice and her two children, completed approximately 85% of a renovation of another house, built a handicapped ramp for a person going through a third round of cancer, has lupus and osteoporosis. We finished painting the exterior of one of our own church member’s houses, installed temporary roofing to another resident in Williamstown, repaired a deck, and built two sets of exterior stairs for another resident in Williamstown, and assisted with the demolition of trailers at the Spruces.

The need for affordable housing is escalating.

  • Berkshire county ranks among the top 10 in the state for the highest proportions of cost burdened homeowners in the state, at 45% or higher.
  • Rural communities account for half of the communities where 40% or more households fall below 80% of Area Medium Income known as AMI.
  • The value of real estate for 2nd homes and seasonal rentals has inflated the price of housing to the point where it is not affordable for many year‐round residents.
  • In Berkshire County, fewer than 10% of all housing units are afford-able to households earning less than 80% of AMI, though nearly 50% of all households in the county fall under this limit.
  • from the White Paper on Rural Housing Issues in Massachusetts December 2014

Habitat plays a small but important role in meeting housing needs.

Our local chapter has served 10 families, 41 family members, 20 foster children, with new homes.

We have helped 2 individuals with critical repairs, and 1 individual with construction of access ramp.

This translates to Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity improving the lives of 64 people over the past decade

Our goal is to produce highly energy efficient homes. Renovations typically limit some of our options but new homes we plan to build Zero Net Energy homes so all energy needed in the home will be produced by the home and no there will be noCO2 emissions

We have applied and won grants from the Berkshire Bank, The James and Robert Hardman Fund, and want to thank the outreach committee of our church for their generous support in December of 2015.

The current house records indicate 323 different volunteers have put in 4881 hours on the current project.

The house has been awarded to Kelly Bordeau a single mother of two daughters; Haleigh and Danni. Kelly is a pediatric nurse working at East Elm Pediatrics in Pittsfield.

We have been assisted by several members of our church. In past years both Mart Moulder and John Blackmer were great helpers. Now Jeff Parkman, Adriana Brown’s son Andrew Brown, Wesley and Katie Davis all help. I both serve on the board and as a weekend warrior helping with the build on Saturdays.

The current house will be finished by mid-march with the exception of some landscaping, less than a year after we started. We expect the house after that will begin soon here in Williamstown.

There also is one special person from the church that Habitat recently recognized for her unfailing contribution for the past 17 years. The Board at its January board meeting voted unanimously to provide special recognition for this dedicated volunteer. Beth Davis has received special recognition for all the efforts she puts in with Habitat and especially the Christmas tree showcase.

We are partners together making home ownership a reality. We render loving service toward all people; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace by Not just building homes, but building families. Thank you for your continued support renewing our Covent.

Today let us build together.

Keith Davis

The above report was mistakenly left out of the Annual Report.