After two years of construction at the Harford Technical High School, the latest “Habi-Tech” home was transported on Friday to its final, permanent location on Edmund Street, Aberdeen. Modular Genius donated the labor and the frames for the house, and Kozlowski Family Transport donated the tractor (truck) to pull the trailers and frames.
Unlike the previous “Habi-Tech” houses, COVID-19 caused delays during the latter part of construction when the public schools went to virtual learning. Habitat’s longtime “core” volunteers were permitted to come into the school and continue building where the students had left off. When in-person learning resumed, the students took over and prepared the house for transporting.
“We’ve had a long and successful partnership with Harford Tech,” said Habitat Susquehanna’s Director of Construction, Dave Burja. “We are so appreciative of the ongoing support of the principal, and of the hard work and dedication of the teachers, students and volunteers who showed such teamwork under these special circumstances.”
The high school has built nine such homes for Habitat Susquehanna, seven of which are located in Aberdeen.
“We’ve been doing this since 2005 and the kids love it!” said Mike Svezzese, CTE Trades and Industry Instructor at Harford Technical High School during a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier this year for the home. The “Habi-Tech” project, under the guidance of school instructors, teaches students across the trades programs (such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) all aspects of home design and construction.
“The City of Aberdeen is a big supporter of Habitat for Humanity and we’re happy to be a part of this,” said Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady during the remarks portion of the groundbreaking ceremony.
According to Director of Homeowner Services, Yvette Valentin, Habitat Susquehanna has built or rehabbed 117 homes to date, and 69 of them are located in Aberdeen.
Iesha Young, mother of a 12-year-old daughter, was selected as the homebuyer of this “Habi-Tech” house. Approved homebuyers must go through the rigorous financial review process to ensure they are eligible candidates. The eligibility criteria include demonstrating a housing need; showing an ability to make monthly mortgage payments; and, willingness to partner with Habitat Susquehanna.
As with all Habitat homebuyers, Young must contribute 250 “sweat equity” hours building her home or the home of another; take mandatory financial literacy classes to learn good money management skills; and, take home maintenance classes. Young will be purchasing the home through a Habitat mortgage made affordable specifically for her. (Volunteer support and sponsorships keep construction costs low.)
“This is a beautiful blessing for me and my daughter,” said Young.
Habitat Susquehanna is looking for volunteers Wednesdays through Fridays, 8AM to 3PM, to continue the completion of the house. For details, contact John Lanigan, Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected].
About Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Inc.
Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Inc. is an ecumenical Christian housing organization devoted to building, renovating and repairing houses in partnership with the community in Cecil and Harford counties. Since its inception in 1993, Habitat Susquehanna has served over 700 families through its Homeownership, Repair and Financial Literacy programs. For more information, call 410-638-4434 (Harford County) or 410-398-3399 (Cecil County), or visit www.habitatsusq.org.