Critical Home Repairs

Here at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Studies show that across the U.S., access to quality, affordable home repair and modification services continues to be out of reach for low to moderate-income households. Along with building and selling newly constructed homes, we have now expanded our mission to include a Critical Home Repair Program. This program was designed to help our partners address critical health and safety issues in their homes, accessibility issues for seniors and people with disabilities, and housing code violations. 

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County is excited to now offer these home repair services to homeowners so they can continue to live in safe, decent homes for many years to come. Some of our home repair work includes painting, landscaping, weatherization, and minor repair services to preserve home exteriors and revitalize neighborhoods. Read on to learn more about this program and how to complete an interest form!

About the Program

Providing home repairs helps to alleviate substandard living conditions and preserve existing affordable housing stock throughout Chester County. The repairs are considered critical when they improve the health, safety, accessibility, and/or energy efficiency of residents and their homes.

While our program is open to all households that meet our eligibility requirements, our program typically serves seniors, low-income families, and people with disabilities who have limited resources to complete the repairs themselves. Initially, our goal is to target older adults who are hoping to “age in place” and need necessary updates to do so. We would also like to target lower-income families who need critical repairs done to maintain a healthy and safe home but cannot afford it without assistance.

We are so glad that now, through funding from Lowes, Stewart Huston and the Huston Foundation, The McLean Contributionship, and Habitat International, we are able to further support our efforts of Critical Home Repair in communities across Chester County. Overall, our Critical Home Repair program is meant to improve the safety, accessibility, and health of you and your home.

Home Repair Details

Here at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we provide a holistic, whole-house approach to all repairs. We prioritize the repairs based on the highest impact for our partners. Although this program is not intended for cosmetic upgrades to homes, we are also able to complete exterior upgrades to homes of older adults and those with disabilities that cannot do these things themselves. This would include, porch or fence repair/painting, yard work, and more.

More repair examples:

  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Roofing repairs/replacement
  • Electrical repairs and upgrades
  • Plumbing
  • Exterior siding
  • Bathroom and accessibility modifications, such as installing grab bars & ramps, shower conversions, widening doorways
  • Drywall and flooring repairs
  • Replacing windows to meet fire safety code
  • Heating and cooling
  • Carpentry relating to the structural integrity
  • Diminishing common causes of respiratory illness, including cockroach infestations, dust mites in old carpeting, mold, and improperly vented fuel-burning appliances.

Do I qualify for the Critical Home Repair Program?

We do have criteria in order to qualify for our Critical Home Repair Program. 

  • You own and occupy the home being repaired.
  • Your home is located in our service area.
  • Your home is more than 10 years old.
  • You are current on your mortgage payments, and not in danger of foreclosure or condemnation.
  • You are current on your property taxes (includes payment plans) or have a deferral.
  • You have, or are willing to secure homeowner’s insurance. *May be waived for households under 30% Median Family Income.
  • You meet the income guidelines (80% Area Median Income or below) based on the number of residents in the home. *Income is collected for all residents 18 years & older.
  • You, or a representative, are willing to attend a mandatory orientation session. (Reasonable accommodations will be made for those physically unable to attend.)

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer

We also offer critical home repair and no-interest loans up to $5,000 (higher for roof repairs) to qualifying partners used to repair critical damage to a home or eliminate immediate hazards to health, safety, and/or sanitation. Loans will also be used for home preservation activities, such as exterior painting, fence and porch repair, and property clean-up and maintenance. All loans are offered by HFHCC at 0% interest and will vary in terms of repayment and forgiveness.

Here at Habitat for Humanity of Chester Country, we make it our mission for families to live in safe and well-maintained homes. By beginning the Critical Home Repair Program, our neighborhoods will become revitalized, community connections will be made, and affordable housing inventory will be preserved for generations to come!

If you are interested in learning more about our Critical Home Repair Program or you would like to submit an interest form, please visit our website! If you have any further questions, please email Brooke Seeger, our Community Program Director, at brooke@hfhcc.org, or give her a call at 610-384-7993 x115.

Hops for Homes Beer Festival

Hops for Homes Beer Festival

We are thrilled to announce the first-ever Hops for Homes Beer Festival, hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Chester County! Hops for Homes will take place on June 18th, from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Exton Square Mall, in the satellite parking lot near Round 1. The event will include craft breweries that have a connection to Chester County, along with food trucks, local vendors, yard games, and live music! 

Our main goal for the Hops for Homes Beer Festival is to welcome the Chester County community to learn more about Habitat’s mission, all while enjoying a nice cold beer. We seek to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. All ticket sales for this event will support Habitat for Humanity of Chester County’s mission to make homeownership possible for everyone! 

Participating Breweries

We are excited to announce the following local breweries that will be participating in our Hops for Homes Beer Festival. Each of these breweries has a connection to Chester County, and we are extremely grateful for their support. There are more participating breweries to come, so stay tuned!

Participating Breweries Logos

Participating Food Trucks

A beer festival cannot be complete without food trucks! A cold beer paired with a delicious bite to eat makes anyone happy. We can’t wait to enjoy the fare of our participating local food trucks. Check them out here:

Participating Food Truck Logos

Sponsorship Opportunities

We also have plenty of sponsorship opportunities still available for our Beer Festival. All sponsorships will directly support our mission of affordable housing for our community neighbors in need. Each sponsorship will make a difference in the lives and futures of families and communities for years to come. Habitat for Humanity of Chester County donors and volunteers have provided affordable housing opportunities for 170 hardworking families since 1989. Each generous sponsorship will support our plans to build 57 additional homes over the next five years!

For more information on sponsorships for our Hops for Homes event, visit our website today!

Event Details

General admission to the Hops for Homes Beer Festival is just $35 per person. We also have a $5 ticket fee for all of the designated drivers who will be joining us! With a purchase of a ticket, you will receive a commemorative glass to sample all of the delicious craft beers available. The event is rain or shine, but there will be tent coverage in the case of inclement weather. Please note the following regarding ticket sales:

  • No one without a ticket and proper photo identification will be allowed to enter.
  • No one under the age of 21 will be admitted.
  • Tickets are transferable; however, tickets are non-refundable.
  • The festival is a rain or shine event.
  • No pets allowed

We are counting down the days to our very first Hops for Homes Beer Festival, and we can’t wait to celebrate with our amazing community and local vendors. Habitat for Humanity of Chester County’s mission would not be possible without the support we receive. Make sure to purchase your tickets today and join us on Saturday, June 18th! For any questions or for more information, please email info@hfhcc.org

Site Lines Newsletter | Winter 2022

Winter 2022 Edition

The Soto family started the new year with a new home.

The Sotos settled on their completed Habitat home in mid-December. They now have the keys to a safe, affordable space for their family of six. Ivette and Virgilio enjoyed helping at the construction site so much that they are looking forward to helping their future neighbors build their homes.

Ivette says “Being able to work with my husband and also my oldest kids in our future home, together is an amazing feeling. Also being able to help on the other families’ houses knowing that those will be our neighbor’s homes is just wonderful. I look forward to giving my kids a home they deserve. A place they can call ‘home’.”

This family is living in a safe, warm, affordable house thanks to you! Whether you’ve donated your time, talent, or treasure to Habitat, it all adds up to making a difference for families in the community. From the Soto family and all the team at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we thank you for building homes, communities, and hope!

Contest for 5th graders is back in person!

On March 19, 2022, we welcome 5th graders from across the Delaware Valley back for an annual tradition. Habitat for Humanity of Chester County and Fox Roach Trident Charities are hosting the 19th Build a House Build a Dream Contest! Students are invited to design and build 3D model dream homes to be submitted in a friendly contest with their peers. The contest is a creative outlet for participants to dream big while learning the importance of safe, affordable housing.

For the past two years, the contest was held virtually, to protect the students and volunteers. We’re excited to announce this year’s event will be held in person at the Exton Square Mall. “We chose the former Sears building because of how much room there is to spread out and give everyone ample space for social distancing.” shares Marketing and Communications Manager, Becki Patterson. “We will continue to watch numbers and protect all participants by requiring masks at the event. We’ll also be supplying hand sanitizing stations throughout the event.”

Contest and raffle winners will be announced at the end of the event. Be sure to stick around for fun activities provided by local youth and family organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and more.

Since 2002, more than 6,000 fifth-grade students representing some 750 schools have participated. The contest has raised roughly a half million dollars through sponsorship to help support Habitat’s homebuilding initiatives. The contest itself is free to participants with all funds donated by generous local sponsors in the area.

Fuller Meadows moving full steam ahead!

Ten more homes are on their way to completion for Habitat families. Thanks to volunteers and corporate team builds, we have kept things moving in the winter months! The families that moved into the first five homes (phase 1) celebrated their one-year anniversary in December 2021. These homeowners keep in touch with us about how affordable housing has changed their lives for the better.

Habitat started construction of the next five homes (phase 2) of the future 40 in March of 2021. Only the final touches like flooring and paint remain before these will be ready for five more families. Phase 3 of construction started in September 2021. Another five families are working on their sweat equity hours preparing for move-in day this summer. The next steps for these homes are HVAC and plumbing before getting started on electrical work.

While all 15 of these homes are spoken for there are 25 more needing qualified applicants! 

Site Lines Newsletter | Fall 2021

Fall 2021 Edition

SHARING SCHOOL DAY SMILES

Students are heading back to school and there has been no shortage of smiles at the bus stops especially from these excited pupils.

For some, this is the first time starting school in their new Habitat home. Others are excited to be back in the classroom seeing all their friends after a hard year of learning from home.

No matter how they’re starting the school year, coming home to a safe, affordable home gives them a stable place to learn and study. This is key to being able to succeed in the classroom.

Families who spend too much of their income on housing are often forced to make critical trade-offs. This includes health care, transportation and even saving for the future.

Moving disrupts having an at-home routine, making focusing on homework a difficult task. These kids have a better chance of staying in school, getting better grades, and going on to further education. All this is because of the donors and volunteers of the Habitat community that make it possible. Thank you for all that you do!

FUTURE HOMEOWNERS HELPING OUT

Future Habitat Homeowners Jess and Katie were at the New Garden Farmers Market the other week. They spent their morning helping to educate neighbors on how Habitat helps in the community.

Jess, her husband, and her two children’s lives are all filled with hope after finding the Habitat program. The four of them currently live in a two-bedroom apartment. Jess shared, “While we are so thankful to have a place to live we are so ready to have the room that we need and a place that is ours.”

After her acceptance as a Habitat homeowner, Jess shared her family’s good news with their neighbor Katie. Katie jumped on the chance to be a homeowner after having to move around often. She says “Although I wouldn’t change my upbringing, I’ve always wanted to find a safe, stable place of my own. Having this home will also give me the ability to “switch roles” when the time comes and be able to take care of my mother.”

Jess and Katie are looking forward to the day they can call a Habitat home their own. These two inspiring young ladies share their gratitude for those that give their time, talent, or treasure to Habitat to make life safe and stable for their families.

BUILD STRONG FOUNDATIONS FOR GENERATIONS

Do you hope for a community with healthier kids, greater academics, stronger neighborhoods, and affordable homeownership? Your planned gift to Habitat’s Legacy Foundation creates a lasting impact in all these areas and beyond!

Habitat homeowner partners are strong, stable, and self-reliant. They build on the foundation of homeownership to create a generational impact—passing these experiences and virtues on to their children.

With your planned gift, you’ll join other Habitat friends in supporting a future of homeownership for the community. Your membership provides for quality and affordable homes and supports a positive impact in our neighborhoods for generations.

Legacy giving allows you to customize your giving to leave a lasting impact in a manner that is consistent with your charitable goals and financial situation. There are many options including gifts that cost you nothing now, gifts that make an impact now, gifts that provide financial benefits to you, and more.

With careful planning, you’ll be able to establish a meaningful legacy that provides affordable homeownership for neighbors in need for years to come. We can help you plan your personal legacy in a way that is right for you. Our Development Team can answer your questions on gifts donated over time and can assist you in choosing a gift option. There are many ways to give the gift of homeownership for families to come including bequests, real estate, retirement assets, life insurance, investment assets, and more.

If you’d like to learn more, visit www.hfhcc.org/plannedgiving/. We want to help you build your lasting legacy.

Join our Executive Director, Chris Wiseman, for our Quarterly Update on what’s happening at Habitat. Chris has some big news to share about the future of our affiliate as 2022 quickly approaches. Be the first to learn about big changes coming in the next several months and the impact for families throughout Chester County.

Please register at www.hfhcc.org/rsvp to be sent a Zoom link to attend the meeting. 

Three New Homes Dedicated in Cambria Terrace Development

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County hosted members of the community last Saturday in Coatesville for a dedication celebration that had been anticipated for quite some time.

Throughout the pandemic, three single mothers helped build homes that signified a brighter future for their children. Now, Jen Pursell, Veronica Ortiz, and Sheryl Carter are officially homeowners.

Ortiz and Carter settled on their homes back in December after patiently seeing what the COVID-19 crisis meant for construction deadlines. Pursell settled on her home this month, and with restrictions being lifted, HfHCC was finally able to celebrate the hard work of these women.

Michael Cappelletti, HfHCC’s Board President, led the event and invited Pastor Dan Krewson of Calvary Lutheran Church in West Chester and Patrick Bokovitz, Director of Chester County’s Department of Community Development, to share a few words. Representatives from companies that partnered financially with Habitat to complete these homes were also invited to speak.

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Carolyn Wilt and Terri Seamen of Thrivent Financial spoke of their pride in partnering with HfHCC and congratulated the homeowners on their achievements. Vernita Dorsey also congratulated homeowners as the representative from WSFS Bank, which has partnered with the nonprofit for more than five years.

Stephen Briggs of Wells Fargo presented HfHCC with a check for $20,000 to go toward continuing to build strong foundations in the Coatesville area. Also, Mike Smith from The GIANT Company made a lasting impression when he presented the new homeowners with bags of pantry staples, free delivery of their groceries for a year, and $3,500 for food shopping.

“I’m local; I’ve been at the Thorndale GIANT for 20 some years and recognize some of the faces here,” Smith said. “You’re my friends and my neighbors, and I’m honored to be here today.”

Other local dignitaries included Coatesville City Council President Linda Lavender-Norris, as well as Coatesville City Councilman Donald Folks. Charles “Chip” Houston, who served as HfHCC’s Executive Director for 17 years and is now Coatesville’s Assistant City Manager, was also in attendance. Former Board Presidents Michael Leader and Andy Signore also came out to show their support.

It was more than the completion of three houses that made the day special; it was what having a home means for the families and the building of community.

Habitat homes are not free, and in addition to an affordable monthly mortgage, each homeowner completed at least 200 hours of “sweat equity” in helping to build their home. These houses were also built completely by volunteers in the community. Dedicated individuals continued to come out to the construction site through the pandemic to help raise walls … and hope. Despite the restrictions, they always followed guidelines to help keep construction moving forward.

HfHCC is currently accepting applications for homes in the same Coatesville development. The application and qualifications can all be found online.