Habitat group breaks ground for home

AMSTERDAM – A family will move into their first house next year with the help of the Montgomery County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Dennis Yacobucci, vice president of the board and chairman of the construction committee, said the non-profit group broke ground on its first house-building project earlier this month.

Yacobucci said Manuel and Melissa Castro will move into the planned 1,000 square foot home at 82 Brookside Ave. The family will receive a 30-year, interest-free loan for the house. They will also help with the building project.

The land the house will sit on also was donated to the group for the project. The plan took about two years to put together, he said.

Tara Stanton, Board of Directors member and volunteer coordinator, said the home will be somewhat handicap accessible with wider doors, and will have “green” building features as well.

Yacobucci said the group hopes to have the house closed up by October or November, so they can get the heat up and running so they can work on the inside throughout the winter.

An early spring ribbon cutting ceremony is planned.

“It’s very exciting and new to a lot of us,” Stanton said.

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization that helps build affordable houses for people and families that otherwise might not be able to own a home.

According to Habitat for Humanity any family interested in getting a house must have a steady income, have good credit and a savings account sustained over a length of time.

Yacobucci said families receiving houses from the group must donate $300 and give 50 hours of community service to Habitat for Humanity on projects not related to their house build.

Stanton said the goal right now is to put up one home a year in the county for a needy family.

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been active in the community already, Stanton said.

They have helped put a new roof on the home of an elderly woman and help out with rebuilding after Hurricane Irene through its Brush with Kindness Program. That program helps low-income families preserve the exterior of their homes by offering services such as painting, landscaping, weatherstripping and minor exterior repairs.

For more information, call Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County at 620-6071.