True, Habitat is known for building quality, energy efficient houses with affordable mortgages. The success of the program, however, is dependent upon developing well-prepared homeowners with education, support, and relationships from the first contact to that moment when the keys are handed over at settlement to the follow-through after home ownership.
Getting one’s financial life in order, paying off debt, saving money for closing costs, and contributing hundreds of hours helping to build new homes is a life-changing experience. It is not just the expertise, but the compassionate and caring spirit of the Habitat team that helps sustain home buyers and their families on this journey.
In two-and-a-half decades, Habitat Choptank built 72 homes. In its most recently-completed fiscal year, Habitat Choptank’s operating budget spent $2 million on its mission, completed the acquisition of 10 properties to support future development in Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge, and Hurlock, and engaged 506 individual and group volunteers that shared their time in construction, office and ReStore support, and committee and board work that totaled 28,364 hours in one year.
Habitat Choptank broadened its mission to include Neighborhood Revitalization with the completion of 38 weatherization projects in just one year that will save the average homeowner roughly $400 in annual energy costs. We are just beginning to see the impact of Neighborhood Revitalization can mean as it seeks partnerships with residents and other groups to expand our toolkit of housing products and services and further improve the quality of life for all in our communities.
Additionally, the ReStore, an important income-producing venture where donated furniture, appliances, and construction materials are sold at attractive prices, was moved to a facility with more space to help fund the growth of our programs. And, Habitat’s access to capital that will allow it to expand the number of homes it can build and rehab was increased through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that can provide affordable low-interest mortgages.
Habitat Choptank is successful because of valued partnerships with people of different backgrounds, businesses, governments, and faith and community organizations. These groups and individuals give valuable time and skills to a wide range of needs within our organization as we seek to transform communities and the lives of families in Dorchester and Talbot counties.
A sampling of some of the milestones of the past 25 years highlighted in this newsletter tells the story of many hands doing transforming work in a generous spirit. We say thank you to all who have contributed and ask your continued support as our work goes forward
Talbot Housing Steering Committee Formed
July 20, 1992
Habitat Incorporated In Talbot County
April 17, 1993
First Home Sold, Lee Street, St. Michaels
October 8-9, 1993
First Habitat Neviaser Follies
April 24, 1998
Home #15 Completed By Women Build
March 16, 2001
Anne Shakespeare Education Fund For Home Owner Families
June 21, 2006
Apostles Build House Completed, 23 Talbot churches
September 29, 2006
Dorchester & Talbot Habitat Partnership Formed
November 22, 2006
Sale of Home #40; First Rehab Home
February 2, 2007
First Dorchester Home Sold
August 17, 2007
Groundbreaking, Milestone on Clay 10 Multi-Family Homes Elm Street Development
May 6, 2009
Greenbreaking 1st Home Using Sustainable, Energy Efficient Building Practices
July 29, 2009
Regional Name Change: Habitat Choptank
November 5, 2010
Habitat Choptank ReStore Opens
June 29, 2011
St. Michaels Faith Build Home Sold, 3 Local Churches
September 25, 2014
First Mortgage Burning Celebration
December 6, 2014
Sale of Dorchester County Ecumenical Build Home, 20 churches participating
May 16, 2015
Grand Re-Opening Expanded ReStore Location
September 19, 201
First USDA Mortgage
April 30, 2016
Groundbreaking First Home in Hurlock
April 1, 2017
Completion of Second Women Build House and Habitat Choptank’s 72nd Home