Open Houses to Honor Habitat Choptank’s Outgoing Director

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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.

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