November, 30, 2023  Daily News

LAWRENCE — Just in time for Thanksgiving, two families moved into their new, affordable homes they built through Essex County Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program, officials said.

A recent dedication ceremony celebrated nearly two years of work that went into building the affordable homes.

Volunteers, who donated their time to help build houses with Habitat contributed almost 6,800 hours, guided by staff construction supervisors. The two new homeowners worked 240 hours each helping to building the homes, according to a press release from Essex County Habitat for Humanity.

“All that hard work will pay off with the benefits that an affordable and stable living situation provides,” Habitat officials said.

The new homeowners will now spend only 30% of their income on housing (with an affordable 30-year mortgage) which will drastically improve their financial health, allowing them to afford things like more nutritious food and better health care, according to Habitat.

Essex County Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the largest nonprofit homebuilder in the world. Essex County Habitat builds decent, safe and affordable homes in partnership with the families who need them.

In place of a down payment, each partner family works at least 240 “sweat equity” hours alongside volunteers to build their home which then carries an affordable 30-year mortgage. Since it was established in 1985, the affiliate has delivered on their mission for over 160 families in Essex County.

To help fund their work, Essex County Habitat operates a ReStore, located in Lawrence, where they sell quality new and previously owned furniture, appliances, building materials, and home goods at greatly reduced prices.

To donate, volunteer, or learn more, please visit EssexCountyHabitat.org.