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