June 23, 2014
"It's just the greatest thing in the world, on the day that we dedicate homes and we're able to hand a key to a family and you just see them lighting up as they cross the threshold of their new home for the first time. It's the greatest feeling in the world."
Habitat for Humanity is a big step closer to doing that this coming year for a record-breaking 32 first time homeowners in our area.
A $40,000 grant from Charlottesville Area Community Foundation will go towards a mixed living development called Burnet Commons III on Elliott Avenue.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville CEO Dan Rosensweig says it will mean home ownership for families that would never have the chance otherwise:
"There is a huge need for affordable housing in Charlottesville...this is a very challenging place to live if you don't have a lot of money. That's witnessed by the fact that more than 25 percent of of residents of Charlottesville pay more than 50 percent of their income on housing. So affordable housing is a huge need in our area and this is going to begin to address that."
They have plans for the new neighborhood with 20 Habitat homes, 26 market rate homes and likely a pre-school.
It will be organized around a central, community-owned park which is fronted by porches on each home.
Habitat wanted something that would go beyond basic affordable housing, creating the first "Home Zone" living street in the area.
"its just a five minute walk from downtown Charlottesville. All the homes are going to be organized around a brand new central park, so it will be the kind of roads that many of us played on when we were kids you can play stick ball or soccer in the street and cars have to yield to you instead of vice versa.