Habitat Choptank Board of Directors Creates Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund

From Left to Right: Nancy Andrew, Lolita Corsey, and Habitat Choptank Board President Charlie Bohn.

Volunteers, staff, homebuyers and community members met at Habitat Choptank homes for sale in Dorchester and Talbot counties to celebrate Nancy Andrew’s eight years of dedication and service to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and to wish her well in her future plans.

Charlie Bohn, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank, also announced the creation of an Endowment fund in her honor.  Bohn shared the purpose of The Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund is “to honor the legacy that Nancy leaves behind which is characterized by her profound appreciation for and encouragement of volunteers and staff.  Such an investment in those who do so much for our organization can only translate to a more effective and efficient delivery of Habitat’s programs and services, as well as lead to an increased satisfaction and enthusiasm on the part of staff and volunteers.”

Nancy Andrew was deeply moved by the tribute and shared her heartfelt thanks to those in attendance.  “At its core, Habitat is about a community of people coming together in common action: volunteers, home buyers, staff, donors and community partners. The relationships that we create in this effort are one of Habitat Choptank’s greatest resources.  While the Habitat mission is a simple notion of empowering people in need to build strength, stability and self- reliance through affordable home ownership, there are many moving parts that go into delivering on this. As we continue to expand our services, it’s critical that we invest in our people to make growth possible. It’s humbling that Habitat Choptank would put my name to a fund that will serve to support and nurture the people who make the mission so impactful.”

For those interested in contributing to the Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund, Endow Maryland tax credits are available and worth 25% of the contributed amount.  These tax credits are made possible through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation where Habitat Choptank will invest the funds.  Checks can still be made payable to Habitat Choptank, with Andrew Team Development Fund in the memo line, and mailed to PO Box 2366, Easton MD or dropped off at the organization’s main office which is located at 29350 Maple Avenue in Trappe.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 75 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.  While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 25 year history. Currently, 12 buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.  For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Open Houses to Honor Habitat Choptank’s Outgoing Director

Habitat for Humanity Choptank invites the community to two separate open houses to say thank you and farewell to outgoing executive director Nancy Andrew. The events will take place in existing Habitat homes that are close to completion from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. In Cambridge, guests can drop in at 1104 Mace’s Lane on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The Easton open houses will take place at 233 Port Street, Unit 2 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. To attend, community members are asked to RSVP to 410-476-3204 or info@habitatchoptank.org.

The Habitat Choptank Board recently named JoAnn Hansen of Cambridge as its next staff leader. Hansen follows Nancy Andrew who in October announced her plan to leave the organization in January 2018. This was timed so that an executive search committee could identify her successor and to have a productive transition. Andrew has served with the affiliate for over eight years including six as its executive director.

“Nancy has been a tremendous asset to our mission and its impact on the community,” says Charlie Bohn president of the board of directors. She led Habitat Choptank through the after effects of the economic downturn, growth of the home purchasing program, launch of a neighborhood revitalization program, expansion of the affiliate’s ReStore, and restructuring of the nonprofit’s balance sheet and funding sources.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with over 215 local households to improve a place they call home. Seventy-five of those are individuals and families who have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit. Income-qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these buyers will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years.

Currently, 12 local home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Seven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least six more over the coming year. While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, it continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one foreclosure over its 25-year history.

The other households served have partnered for weatherization and repair services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program. In 2015, the nonprofit expanded its housing services with the implementation of a Neighborhood Revitalization program. Neighborhood Revitalization focuses on listening to residents’ challenges and aspirations within a target area and then creating partnerships to make changes that are important to those residents. Based on that input and identified gaps in community services, Habitat Choptank’s inaugural neighborhood revitalization program has focused on providing weatherization services and critical home repairs to income-qualifying households, many of them seniors, in and around the neighborhoods where Habitat builds.

To learn more about Habitat Choptank’s programs, to donate or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank Hosting Volunteer Recruitment Event

Community members in Dorchester and Talbot counties who are looking for ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others are invited to get acquainted with Habitat for Humanity Choptank. The nonprofit is hosting a volunteer recruitment event on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at its ReStore located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton.

“When people think about getting involved with Habitat, they generally think about our construction program,” says Nora Skiver, Habitat Choptank’s Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. Skiver, herself a volunteer, is completing a year of AmeriCorps service with the goal of engaging more volunteers in Habitat’s local mission.

“While home building is the most visible way people participate, there are a variety of ways that you can invest your time and talent into Habitat Choptank’s life changing work.” From volunteering in construction, helping at the ReStore, serving on a program committee, or lending a hand at the Habitat office, it all helps to make the dream of home ownership possible for more hardworking families.

“Habitat volunteers have a special place in my heart,” adds Skiver. She purchased her home from Habitat Choptank in 2014. “If you resolved to make a difference in this year, here’s your opportunity to get started.”

Information sessions will run on the hour starting at 10am to 2pm. Community members are invited to drop in during that timeframe. For folks who would like to learn more but cannot attend that Saturday, Habitat Choptank hosts monthly orientation sessions at its office in Trappe on a rotating schedule with both morning and afternoon sessions. That schedule is available on the organization’s website www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat volunteers are men and women who come from all walks of life. Some bring with them existing skills to contribute in construction or helping with specific activities of the mission such as acquiring future properties for redevelopment or coaching home buyers through the home purchasing program. “For others, Habitat is a great way to develop new skills both on our build sites and assisting with the program,” Skiver notes.

This also applies to young people. Starting at age 15, students can volunteer at the ReStore, and at 16, they can join in on construction. “With signed permission from a parent or guardian, we can connect them with a hands-on way to build new skills and add something to their future resume.”

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 75 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.  While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 25 year history. Currently, 12 buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.  For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Habitat Choptank Welcomes New Board Members

Habitat for Humanity Choptank has welcomed four new community leaders onto its volunteer Board of Directors. These members join with eleven other current directors in lending their time, talents and treasures to deliver on the Habitat mission in Dorchester and Talbot counties.

Local optometrist Paul Brant, owner of Cambridge Family Eye Care, LLC, brings a history of community and professional service with local, statewide and national organizations. Most recently, he was a director on the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce to which he served a term as president.

Eric Lowery, a Technology Support Analyst with Chesapeake College, also has a strong sense of civic involvement. Among his various community roles, Lowery is a founding member and President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society which was created in Talbot County in 2009.

From left to right, Eric Lowery, Paul Brant, Larry Neviaser, Phyllis Rambo, and Charlie Bohn, current board president.

Board members Larry Neviaser and Phyllis Rambo have been longtime Habitat Choptank supporters. Neviaser owned Neviaser Toyota Dodge in Easton for 26 years and was a partner in Automotive Restorations, Inc. / Vintage Racing Services in Connecticut until this year. He previously served on the affiliate Board from 1996 – 2004 and is a past president.

Rambo has been volunteering with Habitat Choptank since 2006. She has served as co-chair of the homebuyer selection committee, volunteered at the ReStore, and most recently chaired the Women Build House Committee. Prior to her retirement, Rambo was a project manager and principal consultant for Ciber Enterprise solutions in Colorado.

“Stable, secure housing is a challenge for many of our working neighbors,” says Charlie Bohn, board president. “Fortunately, experience has shown that better, affordable living conditions can help families build a brighter future for themselves. Our strategic plan is aimed at expanding the Habitat mission so that more parents and children can be part of this life-changing experience.”

Launched in July 2015, Habitat Choptank’s strategic plan provides a blueprint toward expansion for the board, staff and volunteers. It is the result of a more than 12-month review and planning process involving input from some 100 different stakeholders.

Goals in the plan provide guidance and direction for increasing Habitat Choptank’s traditional self-help home ownership program and for the addition of other housing services in the target communities where it operates. In response to identified community needs, the forecasted growth is both geographic and programmatic. Habitat Choptank will work concurrently in four communities within its two county service area – Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge and Hurlock; operate at a level to complete at least eight home sales per year; build stronger neighborhoods through quality, sustainable new construction homes and rehabs, and through Neighborhood Revitalization; and develop well-prepared home owners using right-sized financing combined with education, support and relationships pre- and post-settlement.

For information, to volunteer, or to make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank has selected JoAnn Hansen as New Director

Habitat for Humanity Choptank has selected JoAnn Hansen as its next executive director. Hansen has been involved in advancing the mission and cause of non-profit organizations in Chicago, New York City, New Jersey, and now here on the Eastern Shore for more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as the chief executive officer of the Dorchester Family YMCA

Hansen follows Nancy Andrew who in October announced her plan to leave the organization in January 2018. This was timed so that an executive search committee could identify her successor and to have a productive transition. Andrew has served with the affiliate for over eight years including six as its executive director.

Outgoing executive director Nancy Andrew (left) and Habitat Choptank board president Charlie Bohn (center) join in welcoming JoAnn Hansen as the nonprofit’s next staff leader.

“Nancy has been a tremendous asset to our mission and its impact on the community,” says Charlie Bohn president of the board of directors. She led Habitat Choptank through the after effects of the economic downturn, growth of the home purchasing program, launch of a neighborhood revitalization program, expansion of the affiliate’s ReStore, and restructuring of the nonprofit’s balance sheet and funding sources.

Hansen was born and raised in Bonfield, Illinois, located approximately 60 miles south of Chicago. “It was a rural community not so different from the Eastern Shore,” notes Hansen. “I’m so grateful to have found my home here. Home is so much more than a physical location. It’s a place of safety and security with a sense of belonging and purpose. It’s a blessing to now be able to help others find those same things working with Habitat for Humanity Choptank.”

Hansen’s passion for serving people and communities is evident throughout her professional endeavors. “We are excited about what JoAnn can achieve for our affiliate and our work in Dorchester and Talbot counties,” says Bohn.
Her career has included public policy and program development in refugee resettlement and immigrant services along with fundraising and marketing to support special needs children. In working with Summit Area YMCA and then Dorchester YMCA, she focused on strategic planning and budgeting to advance the organization’s mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Hansen holds a BA in Communications with a minor in Public Relations. She completed a Masters in Counseling and Human Resource Development from Roosevelt University in Chicago and later received a Masters in Public Administration from New York University.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 75 families and currently partners with 12 local home buyers. Income-qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient houses. After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these buyers will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years.

In 2015, the nonprofit expanded its housing services with the implementation of a Neighborhood Revitalization program. Neighborhood revitalization focuses on listening to residents’ challenges and aspirations and then creating partnerships to make changes that are important to those residents. Based on that input and identified gaps in community services, Habitat Choptank’s inaugural neighborhood revitalization program has focused on providing weatherization services and critical home repairs to income-qualifying households, many of them seniors, in and around the neighborhoods where Habitat builds. To date, more than 100 households have partnered with Habitat for these services.

To learn more about Habitat Choptank’s programs, to donate or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org or.

 

Habitat for Humanity Choptank after Twenty-Five Years by Nancy Andrew

A bright light in my holiday season this year happened while meeting with a Habitat home buyer in her future living room. I looked out the window and what did I see? Something better than a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.  A big yellow school bus!

For each buyer who purchases a house with Habitat for Humanity Choptank, we host a dedication ceremony to bless the home and present the keys. This is a celebration by the community with the hardworking family filled with tears and smiles over the dream that has been realized.

Equally exciting, though less visible, are the milestones after a family has moved in. It is rewarding to see how household members having achieved a goal so audacious as buying a home that they helped to build go on to set and achieve other goals.

All of this is rooted in a new confidence and determination that was nurtured through their partnership with Habitat Choptank. Working hundreds of hours alongside volunteers to build our homes while learning construction skills. Attending education classes about budgeting while creating new habits for savings, home maintenance, and being a good neighbor. Paying off any collectible debt and saving thousands of dollars toward costs at settlement.

This is where the school bus comes in. If you’re volunteering on one of our construction sites on a school day and a yellow bus drives by with a honk and big wave, that’s Pumpkin Demby. Pumpkin, as she’s been affectionately known since she was a baby, has worked for a transportation company driving a school bus for one of the local school systems. She purchased her home from Habitat Choptank just before Thanksgiving 2015.

As Pumpkin will be the first to tell you, it took three applications for her to successfully meet Habitat’s financing requirements. Once qualified, she hit the ground running. In a process that takes most 12-18 months, Pumpkin was sitting at the settlement table just seven months later signing the papers to buy her first home. She had set a personal goal of becoming a homeowner before she turned 30. She was 29 when she made her first mortgage payment.

Earlier this year, we surveyed some of our home owners, asking questions about their finances, their neighborhoods and their overall experience with Habitat. In meeting with Pumpkin, I found out that when she set her home ownership goal there was a caveat. Her future home had to have a driveway and one long enough to park a bus because her next goal was to start her own transportation company.

Habitat Choptank focuses its work on infill lots within incorporated communities, mostly building in older neighborhoods. The lots are smaller and don’t have room for off street-parking. However, when Pumpkin joined the program, Habitat had a one-time grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development that made it possible to purchase some foreclosed and bank owned properties with vacant houses that could be renovated and resold. And so it happened that Pumpkin had the chance to buy a home with a driveway.

A new Habitat home is now under construction next door to Pumpkin and we were recently meeting there with her future neighbor. Pumpkin’s driveway runs between the two houses and, being lunchtime, a bus was parked at her house. Looking closer, two simple words on the side of the bus said it all: Demby Transportation.

This year, Habitat for Humanity Choptank celebrates 25 years of wonderful things happening here in our community. A stable, secure place to live is something we all need to thrive, and the years have shown us again and again what a strong foundation a Habitat house can be for a family. Better, more affordable living conditions can be the makings of a future in which stability and self-reliance are actually obtainable, not just aspirational.

Meanwhile, as we know from the calls received at the Habitat Choptank office every day, others in our community continue to struggle in providing adequate housing for their families. A helping hand and the opportunity to be part of their own housing solution can make all the difference.

You can help expand this work to positively impact more families like Pumpkin’s. As you consider your year-end charitable giving or look forward to the New Year resolving to get involved and make a difference, I hope you will consider Habitat Choptank.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank will be celebrating its 76th Home Dedication in early 2018. The community will be invited to help welcome the new family home. For more information about Habitat for Humanity Choptank please go here

Exit Interview: Nancy Andrew and the Future of Habitat for Humanity – Choptank

Almost since the Spy began publishing in 2009, we have welcomed the opportunity to talk to long-tenured nonprofit leaders in anticipation of their planned departure of the organizations they serve.  While it’s unfortunate that human resources offices nowadays have somewhat co-opted the phrase “exit interview,”  it does describes the interest and usefulness in capturing these informed leaders reflections on the causes they serve and their analysis of the challenges and opportunity to come.

And that is the case with the Spy’s latest interview with Nancy Andrew after her eight years with Habitat for Humanity – Choptank. Nancy has decided to leave the organization as its executive director at the end of January after eight years at the helm.

And while Nancy acknowledges that her decision to leave Habitat matches her time spent leading Talbot Mentors, another highly respected Talbot County nonprofit, her reflections in her interview with the Spy indicate to her that nonprofit organizations, like any business, go through cycles of development which is not related to periods of time.  Nancy also shares her thoughts on how things have changed but also how the organization’s core business and mission has not during that time.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Habitat for Humanity – Choptank please go here.

 

 

Terrapin Security is Habitat Choptank’s Business Partner of the Year

Habitat Choptank has named Terrapin Security as its Business Partner of the Year for 2017. Terrapin Security is a fully licensed and insured security system agency that has been securing the Eastern Shore for over a decade.

Habitat Choptank director of construction Wayne Suggs met with representatives of the company to present the honors. From L-R: Lee Coulby, Suggs, Dale Moore, and Jack Glessner.

“This award recognizes those businesses that are ongoing partners and have provided significant support to our affordable home ownership program,” explained director of construction Wayne Suggs at Habitat Choptank’s recent award dinner.  The collaboration with Terrapin Security started in 2012 when one of Habitat’s home buyer’s lost her job just weeks before the final certificate of occupancy on her new house. With the completed home sitting empty for months while the buyer searched for new employment, Terrapin Security agreed to install a security system to keep the property protected. That home buyer eventually found a new job and she bought the home. “Today she’s making her mortgage payment each month and Terrapin has continued to donate their services. We’re now 17 homes and counting.”

The company installs high quality, non-proprietary equipment which means the home owner can, but does not have to, use them for monitoring of the system. They also generously provide in-home training to the home owners after move in. “Terrapin is a committed partner who asks for nothing in return other than a small sign by the front steps of each home,” said Suggs.

For information about buying a home through Habitat Choptank, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.  Terrapin Security can be reached by calling 410-822-6500 or going online to www.terrapinsecurity.com.

ReStore Presents Big Check to Habitat Choptank

Habitat for Humanity Choptank volunteers, staff and board members celebrated a milestone at their ReStore’s seventh anniversary event.  A ceremonial check in the amount of $669,849 was revealed representing the cumulative net income the discount home improvement center has generated since it opened in October 2010.  Funds raised by the ReStore are invested into Habitat Choptank’s mission and affordable home ownership programs in Dorchester and Talbot counties.

“We couldn’t have done this without such a supportive community,” said ReStore manager Chris Smith.  It starts with the donors – businesses and organizations, contractors and individuals – who provide an inventory of donated goods that changes daily.  Then there are the customers – collectors, crafters and artists, do-it-yourself types, and landlords – looking to improve their properties.

ReStore manager Chris Smith (left, shaking hands) with George Fox, vice-president on the Habitat Choptank board of directors.

And just as important, team ReStore which includes an equally diverse volunteer corps of men and women of all different ages who help with every aspect of the store operation. Smith adds, “our volunteers support the Habitat Choptank mission, help keep good usable stuff out of the landfill, and have fun in the process. I encourage others who want to make a difference in their community to consider volunteering here.”

ReStores are resale outlets run by local Habitat affiliates.  Habitat Choptank’s ReStore accepts donated construction materials, home improvement items and furniture.  These goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price providing funding to the affiliate for its operating costs which represents about 5-10% of its annual budget. With this unique source of revenue, funding from contributions and grants can be invested directly into the non-profit’s program costs including building homes and preparing the homebuyers.

The Habitat Choptank ReStore, located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton, is open Wednesdays – Saturdays for shoppers and donations.  The store also operates two box trucks which are available to pick up larger donations with advance scheduling from around the region.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 75 families and currently partners with 12 local home buyers. Seven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least six more over the coming year. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.

For more information about the Habitat Choptank ReStore, to volunteer with the store or to inquire about making a donation, call 410-820-6186, email restore@habitatchoptank.org or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank Expands Construction Staff to Grow its Mission

Habitat for Humanity Choptank is pleased to announce several staff changes within its construction team. This reorganization is part of the overall implementation of the nonprofit’s strategic plan for growth in Dorchester and Talbot counties. Launched in July 2015, the plan provides a blueprint toward expansion for the board, staff and volunteers. It is the result of a more than 12-month review and planning process involving input from some 100 different stakeholders.

Goals in the plan provide guidance and direction for increasing Habitat Choptank’s traditional self-help home ownership program and for the addition of other housing services in the target communities where it operates. In response to identified community needs, the forecasted growth is both geographic and programmatic. Habitat Choptank will work concurrently in four communities within its two county service area – Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge and Hurlock; operate at a level to complete at least eight home sales per year; build stronger neighborhoods through quality, sustainable new construction homes and rehabs, and through Neighborhood Revitalization; and develop well-prepared home owners using right-sized financing combined with education, support and relationships pre- and post-settlement.

From L-R, Wayne Suggs, director of construction, Rhodana Fields, neighborhood revitalization manager, Jim Thomas, construction supervisor for Talbot County and Scott Baynard, construction supervisor for Dorchester County. Photo by: Jay Shotel

Since the launch of this plan, Wayne Suggs has joined Habitat Choptank’s staff team as director of construction. This is a new position for the nonprofit. Suggs oversees the pipeline of new home ownership projects including working with site acquisition and managing site development.

Once construction begins, the day to day effort of ordering supplies, working with construction volunteers, and scheduling subcontractors is handled by the construction supervisors. Jim Thomas is supervising new construction and rehab projects in Talbot County. Next door in Dorchester County, Scott Baynard has taken the lead.

Meanwhile, Rhodana Fields has transitioned off the construction team after seven years to assume the role of neighborhood revitalization manager. In order to support area renewal, Habitat Choptank generally works in neighborhoods that have higher incidences of abandoned and blighted properties, as well as homes with significant deferred maintenance, and health and safety concerns.  Working within these target area, Habitat Choptank, like other Habitat affiliates around the United States, has come to realize that ‘we cannot build our way out of the housing problem.’ In response, programming has been expanded over the last three years to include weatherization and housing repairs in partnership with existing low-income homeowners in and around the neighborhoods where Habitat build new homes.

“This talented group is committed to our mission and brings over 100 years of collective experience in construction and project management,” notes Habitat Choptank executive director Nancy Andrew. That kind of knowledge and skill translates into quality workmanship by the staff working in partnership with Habitat’s dedicated construction volunteers. “A key part of making home ownership affordable is making sure the work is durable, that it lasts. Good quality work translates into lower operating costs for the hardworking low-income home buyers and home owners that we partner with.”

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with 214 local households to improve a place they call home. Of those, 139 have been served through weatherization and repair services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program in 2015. Seventy-five individuals and families have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit.

Currently, 12 local home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Seven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least six more over the coming year. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient homes. While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, it continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one foreclosure over its 25-year history.

Habitat accepts applications for its housing programs throughout the year. To donate, volunteer or apply, visit habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.