Habitat for Humanity Choptank will host a Community Resource Fair and Block Party on Wednesday, August 22. This free event will take place from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Waugh Chapel located at 425 High Street in Cambridge. Attendees will have the chance to visit with numerous community resources, enjoy a free lunch, and meet with program representatives about critical home repairs. From tax prep assistance to an exploration of the history of the neighborhood as well as craft and home repair demonstrations, the event will be a fun, informative opportunity for the whole family.
There will be games for kids, and crafts and Rita’s Italian Ice. Central to the day’s events, is a Community Chalkboard Project. The project will place five Chalkboard Signs in the Pine Street neighborhood for people to fill in the blanks with their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future— both for themselves and for the community. Participants can text a picture of their entry to 443-291-9925, to be entered in a drawing for a $250 Lowes gift card. The contest kicks off on Wednesday, August 22 and ends Saturday, August 25.
“The City of Cambridge and DHCD [the Sate of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development] share Habitat’s vision that having a safe, stable home helps bring strength, security and pride to families and ultimately communities” said Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, Rhodana Fields. “This event will be a fun way for neighbors to share their vision for the community with the City, with Habitat, and with each other. Working together, the vision can become a real plan –a road map– for the future.”
Habitat Choptank partnered with the City to apply for a grant from DHCD to secure funding for Neighborhood Revitalization in Cambridge including new construction and renovation, as well as homeowner occupied repairs. DHCD supported this collaborative approach with additional funding, hoping the program will demonstrate a positive impact for the community, and serve as a successful model to expand to other neighborhoods in Cambridge. The total investment from the City of Cambridge, Habitat Choptank and the CDBG grant will be over $1 Million.
Under this grant, three homes will be purchased for renovation and future homeownership opportunities. At least three owner occupied homes will be repaired, including major repairs like stabilizing floors, and replacing roofs. Three energy efficient new homes will be constructed, designed to complement the historic community, and built with durable materials to last for the next hundred years. New construction or rehabbed homes will be offered to income qualifying home buyers who may not be able to access affordable mortgage financing in the market. All of the funds generated from the affordable mortgage payments are reinvested in the community as more homes are built. “I get a lot of satisfaction paying my mortgage each month, knowing that those dollars are creating opportunity for the next person to become a homeowner”, says Habitat homeowner and neighborhood resident Nora Skiver.
In addition, the grant funds a City of Cambridge Housing Specialist who will coordinate ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, non-profits, and businesses to support the community’s vision. Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley spoke about the City’s support for the project: “We are truly excited about our partnership with Habitat Choptank, Maryland DHCD and the Community. This partnership provides vital resources that allow us to effectively implement our commitment to neighborhood revitalization by providing essential services to those most in need. The preservation of the history, community and pride represented in the Pine Street community is important, not only for Pine Street, but for Cambridge as a whole. We are looking forward to the Community Resource Day and invite all to come out and be about of our revitalization kick-off.”
Through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization approach, Habitat affiliates offer an expanded array of housing services and partner with local residents, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities.
For more information about the August 22nd event, contact Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager at 410-476-3204 or email@example.com.
About Habitat for Humanity Choptank
Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with 190 local households to improve a place they call home. One hundred and eighteen of those families have been served through weatherization services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program in 2015. Seventy-six families have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit and currently fifteen local home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine 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. 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 housing programs throughout the year. To donate, volunteer or apply, visit habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.