Lowes Home Revitalization Grant and ARPA Critical Home Repair Grant

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repairHabitat for Humanity of Chester County is proud to announce that we have received funding from the Lowes Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for Home Preservation and the American Rescue Plan Act Grant for Critical Home Repair. These allocated funds are dedicated to our neighborhood revitalization projects in Coatesville, Pennsylvania! At Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, we recognize having a safe and comfortable place to live as a fundamental human right. Our mission is to help our neighbors build strength, stability, and independence through homeownership.

We look forward to progressing on these exciting new projects in Coatesville, Pennsylvania!

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County was awarded $10,500 in funds from the Lowes Home Revitalization Grant for Home Preservation. With this funding, eleven families will receive an exterior “facelift” to their homes on Coates Street in downtown Coatesville. Our team at Habitat has specifically selected this block on Coates Street because we will be constructing more homes here in the near future. The block residents have communicated that they are excited about the construction of Habitat homes on their street. One homeowner states, “It will add value to my home and help to revitalize Coatesville.” 

This neighborhood revitalization project will consist of repairs to broken windows, capping of windows and fascia, replacement of gutters and downspouts, repair of porch railings, replacement of storm doors, repair of fencing, and a fresh coat of paint to the awnings and porches. 

One homeowner stated, “I am looking forward to enjoying my front porch, a place I have never been able to enjoy before.” 

Habitat for Humanity of Chester County was awarded ARPA funds to make critical home repairs on 100 homes in Coatesville. These repairs include modifications that will make the homes safer, drier, and more habitable or allow residents to age in place. These repairs will revitalize the aging housing stock in Coatesville, PA. Our goal is to provide more habitable properties for families and individuals in the area. Through the efforts of this project, we are sustainably increasing the amount of decent, affordable homes in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

A Word From Our Current Coatesville Residents 

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, we held a Homeowner Dedication Event for three of our families in Coatesville. The event welcomed the three families into their new neighborhoods with Habitat for Humanity and was a unique celebration of their new homeownership status!

The Soto Family

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

The Soto Family

Introducing the Soto family!

Our lives had changed from the moment we received the phone call that we had been accepted to the program to the day we signed papers at settlement and received the key for our home. That’s an experience that my husband and I will never forget. We thank God for this wonderful blessing He has given us. My oldest daughter Liz says she’s still in disbelief every time she comes home and looks at this view we’ve been given. She thinks, oh wow, this is where I live, and that’s my house right in the center of our little neighborhood. This is really ours, and we never have to move away; we actually get to stay here forever. Having our own home has not only changed my husband’s and my life forever but, my kid’s life.

 A house is made of walls and beams. A home is made of love and dreams.” – Ivette 

The Holmes Family

Introducing Lynette Holmes! 

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

Lynette Holmes and Executive Director Chris Wiseman

Lynette moved into her own safe, affordable home after a long journey of obstacles. She has battled personal health issues, worked full-time, raised three kids, and put in over 200 hours of sweat equity. It was a proud day to hand her the keys to her own home.

The amount of determination someone has isn’t a question on a bank loan, but it’s a common factor for most Habitat homeowners. Stories of triumph like Lynette’s remind us that these homes are not a hand-out. They’re a hand-up, helping families gain strength, stability, and independence through homeownership.

Photo Caption: Lynette Holmes and Executive Director Chris Wiseman 

The Woodward Family

Introducing Janet Woodward!

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair“I am a single mother with a seven-year-old son. We currently live in a two-bedroom apartment in Regency Park Apartments. I was provided with the opportunity to obtain low-income housing the same year I started Nursing school, which was in 2016. I completed Nursing school in 2018 and began to pay market-rate rent in my development. During this time, I began looking at rental properties, but I noticed that most of the nice houses were outside the budget I set for myself. Instead of allowing this experience to discourage me from moving forward, it motivated and inspired me to become a homeowner. I heard about the Habitat Homeowner program years ago from my aunt who currently lives in a Habitat home. I am happy that I can become a homeowner. I look forward to participating in the education requirements so that I am fully prepared to become a homeowner and stay a homeowner. The sweat hours that are required will provide me with the chance to not only build my home but someone else’s home, which is exciting! I am most looking forward to seeing my son’s reaction when I get the chance to show him ours forever home. I am hoping to make it a surprise! This entire experience will allow me to appreciate the process and hard work that goes into building homes. It is also a gentle reminder of my hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I am forever grateful.” 

Coatesville Neighborhood Revitalization habitat for humanity of chester county lowes home revitalization grant and ARPA critical home repair

Janet Woodward and Executive Director Chris Wiseman

Our Mission

It is heartwarming, amazing, and awe-inspiring to see how our program here at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County has such a positive impact on families and livelihoods. For many families, it is the first place they can officially call home. For many children, it is the first time they have their own bedroom. It is a milestone event that significantly impacts all aspects of their everyday lives. 

We are so excited to begin our new revitalization projects in Coatesville, PA, thanks to the grants received from Lowes and ARPA. These projects will undoubtedly impact the lives of current and future residents in the Coatesville area. We can’t wait to share with you the finished revitalization!

To learn more about how to get involved with our mission at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, or apply to be a Habitat homeowner please visit our website

Our Partnership With Help Build Hope

We are excited to announce our partnership with Help Build Hope, Lima United Methodist Church, and Covenant United Methodist Church! Help Build Hope will provide lumber for the walls of our phase 5 homes in West Grove, PA. We are so grateful to have support from local partnerships like Help Build Hope. Together, we can strengthen the community by building affordable and safe homes. To learn more about Help Build Hope, our partnership event, and our mission at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, keep reading!

Help Build Hope

Help Build Hope is a unique program within the parent company CrossRoads Missions. The Help Build Hope program works with organizations like ours to provide walls for affordable housing projects. Their mantra is, “We build frame walls by building partnerships, building relationships, building community, and building homes, bringing the event to your organization’s parking lot.” The walls provided by Help Build Hope allow our organization here at Habitat for Humanity to reduce costs and complete the construction of our Habitat homes quicker for families in need. This unique partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Help Build Hope fosters a loving community by providing first-time homeownership opportunities quickly and efficiently. To learn more about Help Build Hope, please visit www.helpbuildhope.com

Our Partnership

Our partnership with Help Build Hope will contribute to constructing 40 homes at our site in West Grove, PA. The construction of our Habitat homes takes place in phases, and within each phase, a set of 5 homes is constructed. Help Build Hope will provide lumber for the walls of our phase 5 West Grove homes. This event will take place the weekend of September 23rd-25th, 2022. By Friday, September 23rd all lumber materials will be delivered to the Lima United Methodist Church parking lot to prepare for the lumber cut process. On the afternoon of Friday the 23rd, the lumber will be cut, stacked, and marked by volunteers to prepare for the build on Saturday. On Saturday the 24th, volunteers will construct the first floor of five homes in the church parking lot. On Sunday, the 25th, a church service will be held at Lima United Methodist Church to sign and dedicate the walls of these new homes. After worship, the final walls will be loaded onto the Help Build Hope truck and taken to West Grove, PA, where our volunteers will use them to build a set of townhouses for people in our region who need safe and secure housing. Providing and dedicating these walls to new homeowners is a beautiful process made possible by our partnership with Help Build Hope and the valiant efforts of all volunteers involved. We are so thankful for the many people supporting our affordable housing mission. To learn more about becoming a Habitat homeowner, visit https://hfhcc.org/homeownership/

West Grove Construction 

As previously mentioned, the construction of our Habitat homes takes place in phases. The Kitchen cabinets for our phase 3 homes are delivered, and framing for our phase 4 homes is moving right along! Exterior doors and windows have been delivered for our phase 4 homes this month and are ready for installation. The progress of our phase 4 houses in West Grove over the past few months appears here. We are excited to make extensive progress in the next few months on our phase 5 homes, thanks to the support from our partners at Help Build Hope. To learn more about getting involved on the construction site, visit https://hfhcc.org/volunteer/.

Support Our Mission 

We at Habitat for Humanity of Chester County believe every family deserves a comfortable, safe, affordable home. Every volunteer, donor, and supporter makes a difference in the lives of a family in need. To learn more about our mission at Habitat for Humanity and how to get involved with our organization, please visit www.hfhcc.org

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.

Summer Construction Update

Think it’s been hot this summer? Tell that to our volunteers on the construction site who have been busy working on 4 homes in Coatesville.

The picture above was taken in May. Though the exterior of the two houses on the left, 309 and 311, may look like they haven’t changed much, since then they have been insulated and drywalled, leaving only finishing work remaining. Because of this quick progress, in just over two weeks, our fourth family of 2016 will be moving in!

The other two houses in the photo above, 313 and 315, really went from the ground up this summer! Since May, the entire first and second floor have been framed and the roof is on. Now, the staircases are in and the electrical is being roughed in, so the interior work can really begin! We expect these final two houses to be completed and ready for move in before the winter arrives.

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly through this brutal summer at the construction site! Here’s hoping that fall is just around the corner!

West Grove Grant Awarded!

The Chester County Commissioners awarded a Community Revitalization Program grant of $1,111,000 to the Borough of West Grove for improvements on, and surrounding, our 6.8 acre site at Willow Street and South Guernsey Road.  These public improvements include construction of the storm water management system, storm sewer system, public water system, new street construction and widening of existing streets.  Ryan Costello, Chair, Chester County Board of Commissioners, noted, “Since 2003, more than $3.7 million in Community Revitalization Programs funds have been invested in West Grove, for water system, storm sewer and streetscape improvements.  This year’s grant of $1.1 million helps pave the way for the construction of 40 affordable homes in the Borough, and we thank Habitat for Humanity of Chester County and Borough officials for their commitment to investing in this very worthwhile project.”

West Grove rendering

 

Community Lane Homes Achieve LEED Certification!

In an effort to build more efficiently and save our future homeowners some money on their utility bills, HfHCC adopted several “green” strategies at the Cambria site in 2011.  As a result, the homes at 416, 418, 420, 422, and 424 Community Lane, completed in 2012, are now officially certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council!
So what exactly does that certification mean?  LEED certification provides independent, internationally recognized, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.  LEED-certified homes are:
· Built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that the home can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage;
· Individually tested to minimize envelope and ductwork leakage;
· Designed to minimize indoor and outdoor water usage;
· Predicted to use an estimated 30 to 60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code.
By earning LEED certification on these Cambria homes, HfHCC has ensured that the homes are healthy places to live and even more affordable over time for the partner families who live in them!

leed gold