November 12, 2020  WCVB5

Habitat for Humanity is continuing its work in Andover as the pandemic rages on.

“This will be Andover’s first permanently affordable housing community,” said Jacques Du Preez, of Habitat for Humanity Essex County.

Not far from the center of Andover is a development that will soon provide affordable housing to six families. Habitat for Humanity is building two duplexes, Andover Community Trust is building another.

“The volunteers are great. Everyone has the same mission and the same purpose to be here,” said Keith Hartman, director of construction for Essex County Habitat for Humanity.

The homes aren’t the only thing Habitat for Humanity is building. The organization, which is nearly all-volunteer, just announced a merger between affiliates in Merrimack Valley and the North Shore.

“As a merged organization, we feel that we’ll just be able to do more, to be able to help more deserving families achieve their dreams of home ownership across Essex County,” said Du Preez.

The future residents of the homes hope to move in by the end of the year. When they do, it won’t be their first time here. They’ve already invested hundreds of hours of sweat equity, which is one of the requirements for Habitat for Humanity. The future residents have also left thank you notes to the other volunteers who’ve helped built the homes.

Despite setbacks from the pandemic and higher material costs, the mission for Habitat for Humanity is perhaps greater than ever, so they say they will find a way to keep building.