Since 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg has helped fifteen area families find a new home, sweet home. Habitat hopes to add Home #16 to that list of dwellings. A building lot at 304 W. Park Street is ready and waiting, however to “raise the roof”, they must first raise the money. To that end, Habitat is launching their “Raise the Roof” 2014 Fund Drive.
“By being a part of Habitat’s good work, you can help make a house a home for another deserving family in our community,” said board vice-president Kelly Musselman. “Our goal is to help local families in need with clean, decent, safe affordable housing.”
The first Habitat home was constructed in 1996 for $25,000. Nineteen years later, that price has almost quadrupled; Habitat Home #16 is estimated to cost $90,000. Just as it takes a lot of hands to build a Habitat home, it takes a lot of heart to help fund it. Habitat is asking for donors to sponsor a part of Home #16, whether a window or door, sink or toilet, cabinets or flooring. Donations can range from $25 for a gallon of paint, $350 for a water heater, to $1000 for insulation. Donations of any amount are welcome and are tax-deductible. All donations go toward building costs of the home.
Donations may be made as an individual or as a business, a church or an organization, a corporation or a foundation. Donations levels will be explained in a brochure and letter, which is currently being mailed out. Monetary contributions as well as donation and discount of building materials are also greatly appreciated. Habitat for Humanity is privately funded and receives no government funding for building of homes, land, site prep, infrastructure, or administrative expenses.
Habitat homes are constructed solely through volunteer labor, including local citizens as well as the RV Care-A-Vanners, a group of winter Texans who visit Fredericksburg each February to help out on Habitat’s latest project. The Care-A-Vanners hail from all over the U.S. and Canada and have already helped Habitat build ten homes with over 17,158 volunteer hours. Members of the Fredericksburg group include volunteers Wayne Murphy, Pete Jensen, Don Smith, Don Ingels, and Al Bispo. Additional volunteers are always needed and encouraged to contact Habitat if they would like to help.
The Care-A-Vanners are slated to return in February of 2015 to put the finishing touches on Home #15 to make it move-in ready for Habitat’s newest homeowners next spring. When completed, work on Home #16 will begin, with construction continuing throughout the year. The two Habitat homes are conveniently situated next to each other on Park Street.
A typical Habitat home is 1100 square feet, 3 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 baths with central heat and air. There is no garage or carport, but a small storage shed is included. Whirlpool Corporation donates a refrigerator and stove for each home built. The Vereins Quilt Guild of Fredericksburg also donates a handmade quilt to each new homeowner.
Future homeowners must meet strict criteria to become eligible for a Habitat home and must put in 300 hours of “sweat equity”- actual labor on their new home, whether painting the walls or installing insulation. Just like any other homeowner, they must make a monthly mortgage payment, which includes insurance and taxes. Full equity is not realized until the mortgage is paid off in twenty years.
“With the help of our community and its caring citizens, Habitat for Humanity provides a head start with a hand up, not a hand out, to families in need,” said Musselman. “We appreciate all the support, interest, and help we have received over the years and want people to know that they do make a difference in other’s lives.”
To make a donation, volunteer, join the board, or for further information call (830) 990- 8585 or visit www.fbghabitat.org. Donations may be mailed to Habitat for Humanity 102 E. San Antonio Str. Suite B Box 5 Fredericksburg TX 78624.
Habitat homes are three bedroom, one and a half bath with a little over 1100 sq. ft. of living space with central heat and air. A small storage shed is added, but no garage or carport. Whirlpool Corp. donates a refrigerator and stove for each home.