Habitat for Humanity builds in Cambridge | News | myeasternshoremd.com

2022-06-15 11:20:17 By : Ms. Tongyinhai Manufacturer

The crew readies for the crane to lift the modular section off of the trailer.

Builders control the rotation of a modular section with ropes as they move it into place on the second level of a house.

The first modular unit of the second floor is manuevered into alignment.

The second upper floor modular unit is moved into place.

The second upper floor unit is aligned before final placement.

Builders control the rotation of a modular section with ropes as they move it into place on the second level of a house.

CAMBRIDGE — A building crew worked to install a modular house on Thursday, May 12, in Cambridge as part of an eight home project under construction by Habitat for Humanity.

Modular sections of the two-story, single-family house on Wells Street were lifted one at at time off of flatbed trucks and lifted into place with a crane before being placed on a cinder block foundation.

In the adjacent lot, a similar foundation awaited another modular home installation scheduled for the next day.

Workers and Habitat volunteers staged across the street on the first floor subflooring of another of the organization’s projects, this one a stick-built, single-family residence.

The crew readies for the crane to lift the modular section off of the trailer.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank Executive Director JoAnn Hanson said that in addition to the three houses, currently under construction on Wells Street, the organization owns five lots in a row intended for single family homes.

Hanson said about 80% of Habitat homebuyers are single moms with kids, but that others do meet the criteria and are encouraged to apply.

The volume of inquiries is high, about 70 per month in Dorchester and Talbot, but after an assessment of readiness to be homeowner, most are not ready — yet.

“There’s a huge education and information curve” for prospective homebuyers about debt to income ration and other principles. “Sometimes people aren’t ready, and they get coaching to get there,” Hanson said, “Sometimes the answer is, ‘You aren’t ready yet but we’re going to help you get there.’”

This education and preparation is key, according to Hanson. “Homeownership is about being ready.”

The first modular unit of the second floor is manuevered into alignment.

Scott Baynard manages the volunteer build crew working on the stick-built house, as well as other projects in Dorchester County. Baynard worked as a builder in Dorchester and currently farms in Talbot. He spoke highly of the quality Habitat produces: “There’s no such thing as a substandard build. Not here.”

Baynard said in his five years of volunteering he has found that the volunteers and homeowners not only stay in touch through Habitat’s “excellent” coaching program, but through dedications of other new homes. “It’s a family,” he said.

Habitat volunteer Tom Wilson said in his eight years of work with the group he has met “great people, really nice people.”

Wilson told the story of working with one aspiring homeowner who was a hard worker, driving a school bus and putting in the requisite 300 hours of “sweat equity” Habitat requires. He said she was determined to have her own house by the age of the 30.

Wilson said he remembered the house dedication for her, three weeks before her 30th birthday. He said she still drives a school bus, but one she now owns, in addition to owning second bus.

Wilson also emphasized the quality of the homes built by Habitat. “We want it to be as good as it can be,” he said, adding, “The building is the same quality as if we were building for ourselves.”

The second upper floor modular unit is moved into place.

Hanson said Habitat for Humanity Choptank is always looking for homeowners and volunteers, and anyone interested should call the office at 410-476-3204.

July will be the 30th anniversary of the group that originally solely served Talbot but branched out to Dorchester in the 2000s. Hanson said the organization is on track to complete 100 homes in that 30 years.

The second upper floor unit is aligned before final placement.

The eight homes slated for Wells Street (as well as the three other dwellings on the street) will benefit from new sewer, sidewalks and streetlights through the efforts of the City of Cambridge and the help of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The revitalized street is located in the heart of a neighborhood where poverty and violence can be all too common, but Hanson said the efforts of Habitat and other stakeholders are a concerted effort to turn the tide.

“What we are doing starts to build seeds of hope,” Hanson said. She believes seeing others succeed and become homeowner sets a great example: “It’s in my neighborhood I can do it too,” she imagined prospective homeowners telling themselves. “It forges a path.”

Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at mdetmer@chespub.com.

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