Habitat for Humanity to build in Huntly

Search is on for a family in need by Fauquier-based group

Fauquier Habitat for Humanity (FHFH) was recently awarded $12,000 from the Richard Lykes Foundation that FHFH Executive Director Brenda Drerenberger says will go toward the approximately $80,000 needed to fund a new house to be built in Huntly.

“We are thrilled to be back in Rappahannock for the first time since 1994, when the organization built a house in Washington for Barbara Shanks,” said Drerenberger.

In communities around the country, Habitat for Humanity builds houses with the help of an army of volunteers. The houses are then sold to selected low-income families “at cost with no-interest mortgages to keep the monthly payments affordable for the homeowner,” said Drerenberger.

Barbara Shanks (left) of Washington, for whom Fauquier Habitat for Humanity built a home in 1994, receives her paid-in-full mortgage documents recently from FHFH board president Kim Forsten.Courtesy photo
Barbara Shanks (left) of Washington, for whom Fauquier Habitat for Humanity built a home in 1994, receives her paid-in-full mortgage documents recently from FHFH board president Kim Forsten.

Drerenberger said Habitat has been looking for some time in Rappahannock for the right piece of property. “Lot size restrictions in Rappahannock and land prices have made it difficult,” she said. “But recently, Wells Fargo donated a small piece of land in Huntly that we hope to build on next spring.” Neighbors donated two additional small lots, making the final lot size about 1.5 acres.

The lot has an existing well and septic field that has been approved by the county for a two-bedroom home.

“We’ll soon be qualifying a local family to purchase the home once it is completed,” said Drerenberger. An important criterion for selection is that the family must be willing to partner with Habitat to build the home. “Our partner families invest hundreds of hours of ‘sweat equity’ into building their homes,” said Drerenberger.

Habitat also looks at the family’s actual housing need based on the suitability of their current shelter, and the family’s ability to pay for the Habitat home. “The family must have some income, such as from employment, social security, a pension, disability, or other sources,” said Drerenberger. “We want our families to become contributing members of the community.”

Drerenberger has been meeting with groups in Rappahannock to develop various committees that are needed, identify and qualify a family, develop volunteers who will help build the home, and raise the necessary funds.

“There is a lot to be done in a short period of time,” said Drerenberger, “but I am sure that with the community’s support, we will be able to build this spring and give a local family the opportunity to change their future by being able to purchase a safe, affordable home to live in.”

For more information about Fauquier Habitat for Humanity, family selection criteria, volunteering or to apply for a home, visit fauquierhabitat.org, email info@fauquierhabitat.org or call 540-341-4952.

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