Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is celebrating a special year this year – we are turning 30 years old! Over the past few decades, Habitat NCC has grown exponentially and we are thrilled with how far we have come. Also, Habitat NCC is known as one of the most active affiliate of the organization’s in the country and is currently rated as a 4-Star charity by the Charity Navigator – a nonprofit “watchdog” that awards nonprofits who are transparent with their fiscal management. To celebrate our thirty year milestone, let’s take a look back to see how far we have come.
Habitat for Humanity International was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976 in Americus, Georgia following a dramatic shift that caused Millard to re-evaluate his direction to restore not only his faith but his marriage. Through Habitat, he was able to set his life on the path of serving families who needed adequate housing. This concept was brought to New Castle County Delaware through Howard Rudge and his wife Loie in September of 1986. The couple formed the first group of volunteers, starting the organization and established a board 17 individuals who met once a month to set policy and go over operations.
The first family to partner with Habitat NCC was Gil and Sonia Rodriguez in 1987. Excited to finally have a home of their own, the Rodriguez family was more than happy to put in the sweat equity hours required by Habitat to become homeowners – one of the three requirements prospective homeowners need to meet, along with the need for adequate housing, and the willingness to partner. Through the hard work and skills of the volunteers, as well as the family, the first renovation was completed on July 26, 1988 at 239 N. Franklin Street. The final cost to renovate the home was $30,000 and the home was acquired for only $1 – the family was required to make monthly payments to back the costs of the renovations, one of the many sources of how future homes are funded.
To keep the momentum going a full-time staff member was needed. Kevin Smith joined Habitat in 1996 as the Affiliate Manager, but he was no stranger to the organization’s mission. Kevin began his journey with Habitat for Humanity in Fresno, CA as the volunteer coordinator. Faith and his desire to eradicate homelessness has been the driving force behind Habitat NCC and he now serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Some of the major milestones that have taken place over the years include partnering with the Homebuilders Association of Delaware to construct four houses in a week in 2000, buying Habitat’s permanent headquarters in 2001, opening the first Restore in 2004, and raising almost $6.1 million in 2006 for the first capital campaign. There have been many other events including Bike 2 Build, the Art Auction, Habitat in Motion 5k Run/Walk, and an Annual Dinner. We have also held other fun events such as the Collegiate Challenge, Red, White, and Brew, and an Annual Women Build Week.
Over the past thirty years, the organization has grown to 27 staff members including four different departments: construction, family services, development, and staffing at both ReStore’s in Wilmington and Middletown. We also have over 3,200 volunteers who work on site, at the ReStore’s, and in the office and 3,500 donors who help assist us with our mission. Since 1986 we have served more than 300 families throughout New Castle County with projects in the city of Wilmington, Newark, Newport, New Castle, and Middletown. Currently, we have over 400 individuals who apply for Habitat housing and are able to serve between 15 – 20 families a year. Right now, we have 19 homeowners who are going through the program waiting for housing in Faith Way II, Walnut Ridge, Spring Lake, and 2207 Lamotte Street. The goal of revitalizing neighborhoods and restoring hope is making a huge difference in the lives of those who have faced challenges in providing adequate housing for their families. We will continue to work hard towards our mission of seeking to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope.
MIDDLETOWN, DE – Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, had the Grand Opening for the Middletown ReStore this past weekend on Saturday, May 14th, as well as the Groundbreaking for Springlake, one of the new construction sites in Middletown.
Together, individuals from the community and invited guests were in attendance at the Grand Opening, including Board President Noreen Poole, board member Rick Gessner, State Representative Quinton Johnson, New Castle County Councilman Bill Powers, Councilman Robert Stout, Chamber Executive Director, Roxane Ferguson, and Chamber President Nick Ryan.
Before the store opened at 9AM, there was a line of approximately 40 people waiting patiently to begin their shopping. Opening day brought people from all over who found out about the opening from paid advertisements. One family, the O’Leary’s, a big supporter of the ReStore came down from Wilmington, DE to see what types of merchandise they could find. “We frequent the ReStore’s and redid a home of ours with 80% of the windows, including the sliders from Habitat”.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting took place inside the store by our invited guests at 10AM where Middletown Councilman, Robert Stout, noted that the Middletown Shopping Center parking lot had not been as full as it was Saturday since he lived in the area.
“The ReStore is all about raising money so that we can fulfill our mission which is seeking to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of HFHNCC. “What you see here to my left is the next project we are doing here in Middletown. Everyone who is here today buying merchandise is helping build habitat houses.”
Located in the Middletown Shopping Center, at 600 N. Broad Street, Middletown, DE 19709, the store was packed from wall to wall with merchandise ranging from 50-90% off retail prices. New and gently used merchandise was donated by manufacturers, stores, and individuals. For the Grand Opening, on top of the already discounted rates, HFHNCC gave an additional 20% off.
By the end of the day, more than 150 people walked through the doors and more than $11,200 in sales were made in the first day. The stores operating hours will be Tuesday to Saturday from 9AM-4PM.
Following the ReStore Grand Opening guests made their way over to the 11:30am groundbreaking for our new construction, Springlake, on Elizabeth Street, off of East Lake Street. Prospective homeowners, Mesa Barrette, Cherrell Finney, Cereza Hansley, Terri Hawkins, and Sonia Lahoz took their shovels along with Kevin Smith, CEO, Board President Noreen Poole, New Castle County Councilman, William Powers, and City Councilman, Jason Faulkner and broke ground in the presence of more than fifty people to commence the start of this project.
“I’m excited about being a homeowner, it’s more of a journey for me because it’s something that I’ve been wanting for a long time but didn’t really know how to actually get there”, Cereza Hansley said, a prospective homeowner and mother of two.
After the groundbreaking there was a picnic where guests enjoyed themselves and mingled for the afternoon with other homeowners, some who have already been a part of the program, as well as Habitat for Humanity Board Members and Staff.
The Springlake project consists of five new homes, four on Elizabeth Street and one on Jefferson which will bring the total to 31 houses that Habitat has built in Middletown since 2000.
Habitat is thankful for the sponsors who were able to make the Springlake project possible including New Castle County, Town of Middletown, Capital One, Chichester DuPont, The Laffey-McHugh Foundation, Deutsche Bank, Borkee-Hagley Foundation, TD Bank, PNC Bank, HSBC, Milton and Hattie Kutz Foundation, Principal Financial Group, the Anthony and Catherine Fusco Foundation, and the Longwood Foundation.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s tithe to developing countries crosses the $1 million mark and will now support housing efforts in Costa Rica.
Since 1986, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has been providing financial support to affiliates overseas to support the construction of hundreds of decent and livable homes for families dwelling in sub-standard conditions.
Through Habitat International’s tithe program, affiliates commit 10 percent of unrestricted donations of local funds to aid in the elimination of poverty housing worldwide. And 29 years after starting its tithe, Habitat NCC is pleased to announce it has crossed the $1-million mark in funds provided to deliver shelter for families in desperate need abroad.
Over the years, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has supported Habitat for Humanity International’s efforts in Tanzania, Africa, El Salvador and more recently Egypt and India. Through our tithe we have helped more nearly 300 families become homeowners.
In October, Kevin Smith, CEO, was invited on a Habitat for Humanity International-sponsored Global Village trip to Costa Rica. Based on what he learned on the trip, HFHNCC is now tithing to Egypt and Costa Rica, and has organized a Global Village trip to Costa Rica.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, Smith will be leading a group of 13 Habitat NCC supporters and staffers on this inaugural trip.
Magaly Rodrígues Sánchez’ Story
Magaly is a single mother, her partner abandoned her more than nine years ago. Magaly has worked hard to raise their two children, a teenager of 15 years and a girl of 11 years. She works as a waitress in a hotel, Monday to Saturday, leaving home from 5:00 a.m. and returning at 7:00 p.m. and her mother, Isabella, helps her take care of her children while she is working. Mrs. Magaly’s salary is not enough to cover the needs of the children. She always has great difficulty buying the uniforms and school supplies for her elementary school daughter and high schooler.
Magaly’s father, Victor, received a donation of a small piece of land from an uncle who died and Victor decided to donate it to his daughter, so that she could be build a “ranchita” (shelter) for her two children. Don Victor works as a taxi driver, his income is low, and is hardly enough to sustain him and his wife Isabella.
One day, when Magaly went to her daughter’s school, she read a flyer posted on a wall about Habitat for Humanity of Costa Rica. She decided to call HFHCR and start her journey to make her dream come true: to have a decent and safe place to live for her children.
The ultimate goal of Global Village trips is to further Habitat for Humanity International’s mission to eliminate poverty housing worldwide.
Global Village participants do this by:
- Lending a helping hand to those in need of simple, decent shelter.
- Donating valuable funds to Habitat programs around the world.
- Learning about the global need for cross-cultural understanding and simple, decent, affordable housing.
- Learning about new paradigms in the delivery of affordable housing that address the magnitude of the problem and the availability of resources.
- Becoming long-term advocates for affordable housing.
“We are excited to hit the $1 million-dollar mark in our tithing history and even more excited to share the opportunity to transform lives overseas with our supporters by organizing Global Village trips to Costa Rica.”
For more information about Global Village trips visit http://www.habitat.org/gv.
President Signs Bill to Make IRA Rollover Permanent
A gift of retirement assets can be a convenient, tax-efficient way to support Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.
On December 18, President Obama signed legislation to make the charitable IRA rollover permanent and retroactive to the beginning of 2015. The rollover is a convenient, tax-efficient way for donors who are at least 70 ½ years old to support Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. See below for more information about the charitable IRA rollover and how to make your gift.
How the IRA Rollover Works
With the Charitable IRA Rollover now permanent, individuals who are 70 ½ or older may transfer up to $100,000 a year directly from their traditional IRA to a qualified charity, such as Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. If a spouse has a separate IRA, he or she can also make a charitable IRA rollover gift. The amount of the transfer will not be included in your taxable income, and the transferred amount can count toward your required minimum distribution.
How to Make an IRA Rollover Gift
If you are considering a charitable gift from your IRA during 2015, consult with your advisor to determine if the charitable IRA rollover is a good option for you. The information below will help you accomplish your rollover gift as quickly and seamlessly as possible:
- Contact your IRA custodian and instruct your custodian to make a distribution directly to Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.
- Provide your IRA custodian with our tax ID number – 51-0294138 – and the following contact information: Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, Troy Nuss, Chief Development Officer, 1920 Hutton Street, Wilmington, DE 19802 – 302.652.0365 ext. 119 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Notify the Chief Development Office by phone or email that your gift is on its way.
Here’s how it works:
Not even the low temperature of the early morning could put a chill on the excitement that filled the air at “Run the Rock,” Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s annual 5k Run/1-Mile Fun Walk on Saturday, October 10, 2015.
The event was held at the pristine Rock Manor Golf Club in Wilmington, where about 100 runners and walkers made their way around the course in support of Habitat’s push to create homeownership opportunities for deserving families.
Below are some snapshots from the event.
If you would like to review the results from the race, please click here.
The 2015 Annual Golf Outing was graced with beautiful weather as Habitat for Humanity of New Castle Counted more than 100 golfers, sponsors, volunteers and supporters for lunch and play at Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2015.
The event started with registration and a seasonal patio lunch. Golfers had the opportunity to speak with future Habitat homeowners, Alesia Gray, Teri Hawkes, and Latayvia Terrell who were onsite completing sweat-equity volunteer hours in support of the Golf Outing.
As one of the nine homeowners preparing to live in Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s Walnut Ridge townhomes, Alesia Gray said she was happy to support the Golf Outing by volunteering at the golfer registration table.
“I applied for this program because I was tired of renting and moving every year. One of my life goals is be able to provide my children with a stable home by the time I turn 30,” said Gray. “I remember when Habitat called to tell me that I was accepted into the program. I was sitting in my car in shock! I am so happy that I can participate in this program with the other homeowners and look forward to doing everything I can do to help my family move into our new home.”
At noon, the golfers scattered between Hartefeld’s 18 holes in a scramble-style tournament. While the foursomes included many returnees, there were some first timers who were looking forward to supporting Habitat and the challenge of the course.
Bob and Sue Linderman of “The Westminster Duffers” attend Westminster Presbyterian Church, a Walnut Ridge Foundation Sponsor Church, said they signed up their foursome immediately.
“Our church has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for many years,” said Mr. Linderman. “We received the invitation and decided that we ought to give it a try so we grabbed our friends Dick and Martha and registered.”
The Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County Annual Golf Outing is hosted in partnership with the Delaware Chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC). Habitat NCC Board Member Chip Rankin has served as the Golf Outing Committee Chair for IFMA for the past 15 years.
“In the past, IFMA designated the proceeds from this tournament to support Habitat for Humanity’s projects in New Castle County, Delaware,” said Rankin. “We decided that we wanted to continue supporting the good work of this organization and are happy to partner with Habitat to host this annual event.”
DOVER, DE – July 9, 2015: Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County received a rebate check for $20,300 from the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility for its participation in Energize Delaware’s popular Green for Green program which offers rebates for energy efficiency measures incorporated into new home construction.
Habitat recently completed construction of seven new energy efficient townhomes near downtown Wilmington, DE. Another nine energy efficient townhomes are set to begin construction there later this year.
“We are the beneficiary of the Green for Green program that helps us build energy efficient houses by giving us the financing necessary to offset the cost. We are very grateful to the State of Delaware, the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility and the Homebuilders Association of Delaware who manages the program.”
– Kevin Smith, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County
“We are very proud to be a partner with Habitat for Humanity and the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility to administer the Green for Green program in order to provide rebates to build nationally certified, green, energy efficient homes. It’s a wonderful program that helps homebuyers as well as builders and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
– Howard Fortunato, Executive V.P., Homebuilders Association of Delaware
“I love it! I have awesome neighbors and anything we can do to help our community, I’m all for it. The process was simple and I’m proud to be a part of the “Habitat Family.” Not to mention, my utility bills are the lowest they’ve ever been.”
– Laressia Wright, Habitat Homeowner
Energize Delaware’s Green for Green Program offers Delaware new home buyers rebates of $1,000 to $4,500 for homes upgraded to national standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, building materials and other conservation-oriented, energy-saving features. Homeowners can save from $21 to $47 a month on average, or up to 36 percent, on an average monthly electric bill. Developed jointly with the Home Builders Association of Delaware, the rebate is available for homes in Delaware’s designated growth areas. Funded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the rebates will fund energy upgrades for approximately 200 homes throughout the state
Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) is a unique nonprofit organization created by the State of Delaware to foster a sustainable energy future for the state. The SEU’s EnergizeDelaware programs are committed to helping Delaware residents, businesses and non-profits save energy and money by increasing the energy efficiency of their facilities.
Bank of America, New Castle County partner in dedication of Newark home, first modular built home for Habitat NCC
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, in partnership with Bank of America and New Castle County is pleased announce the completion of the latest home to be dedicated to its next homeowner.
Mawupe Typamm and his family will move into a brand new, three bedroom, ranch-style home in a quiet subdivision off of Route 40 – a far cry from the cramped, two bedroom apartment his family had been living.
“I am giving praise to the Lord,” said Typamm, a native of Africa native who moved to the United States in search of a better life for his family.
Kevin L. Smith, CEO of Habitat NCC, said home dedications are typically moving experiences for all that attend.
“But there are two things that make this particular dedication extra special,” he said. “This day was made possible through the generous support of sponsors like Bank of America and New Castle County, and the fact that this was the first modular, built home Habitat has ever done.”
New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon says providing affordable housing options is a key element to stabilizing communities impacted by rising foreclosure rates and depressed property values.
“New Castle County is proud to work with wonderful agencies like Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County and community leaders like Bank of America in making the dream of homeownership a reality for this family,” County Executive Gordon said. “Real estate is one of the fundamental ways that we begin to rebuild the decimated middle class in this country.”
Beracah Homes, a modular-home construction company specializing in custom-designed homes, built the 1,456 square-foot home in inside its southern Kent County warehouse and transported the structure more than 60 miles from its Greenwood, DE facility to the site at 26 Danbury Drive in Newark.
“Habitat is volunteer organization whose mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope,” said Michael Synczyszyn, Habitat’s Director of Construction Operations. “We just want to be a good steward of the dollars the community gives us and to serve as many families as possible. [Building modular homes] is another way for us to accomplish this part of our mission.”
Today, Home Innovation Research Labs recognizes 39 NGBS Green Partners for outstanding contributions to advancing green building in their communities and commitment to voluntary, market-driven, third-party certification of high-performance homes. The 2014-2015 Home Innovation NGBS Green Partners of Excellence include 9 residential building companies; 18 accredited verifiers – including 4 “Rising Stars” and several sustaining partners who’ve been recognized multiple years; 8 architectural firms; and 4 exemplary program advocates from across the country.
“As the home building market continues its rebound,” said Home Innovation Labs president and CEO Michael Luzier, “dedicated partners like these prove that participating in our rigorous third-party certification program isn’t a gimmick or a passing fad – it’s a strategic business decision that is paying dividends and changing the residential marketplace. Others around the industry could certainly benefit from following the lead of these outstanding NGBS Green Partners and building on their success.”
The Partners of Excellence awards provide an opportunity for Home Innovation Research Labs to recognize the leadership, innovation, and excellence of its NGBS Green Certification Program partners and other champions of credible green building in the residential sector. This year’s NGBS Green Partners of Excellence are:
Builders & Remodelers:
- Alliance Residential; Phoenix, AZ
- BuildSense; Durham, NC
- Crescent Communities; Charlotte, NC
- Cimarron Homes; Durham, NC
- Di Loreto Homes of Nevada; Reno, NV
- Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County; Wilmington, DE
- Island Homes by Pat Patteson; Emerald Isle, NC
- Pinnacle Housing; Miami, FL
- Wood Partners; Atlanta, GA
- Kyle Abney*, Abney + Abney Green Solutions; Palm City, FL
- Ali Alaswadi*, PEG, LLC; Fairfax, VA
- Steven Armstrong*, Environmental Solutions Group; Greensboro, NC
- Dondi Atwell*, ATS Engineers, Inspectors, and Surveyors; Austin, TX
- Kat Benner*, US-EcoLogic/TexEnergy Solutions; Dallas, TX
- Mark Garner*, Lawrence Abell and Associates Ltd.; LaPlata, MD
- Aaron Gary*, US-EcoLogic/TexEnergy Solutions; Irving, TX
- Joe Gordon*, Joseph Gordon LLC; Georgetown, DE
- Jamie Hager*, Southern Energy Management; Raleigh, NC
- Glenn Haydu, Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners; Lambertville, NJ
- Daniel Mazilu, PDN Consulting, Inc.; Houston, TX
- Brendon Roark*, Nations Capital Energy Solutions; Temple Hills, MD
- Chris Schwarzkopf*, Energy Diagnostics, Inc.; Valparaiso, IN
- Drew Wallace*, econsultants, LLC; Columbia, MO
Verifier Rising Stars
- Damon Barnett, Barnett Associates, Inc.; Evansville, IN
- Jason Biondi, Energy Cost Solutions Group; Miami, FL
- Rachel Della Valle, Southern Energy Management; Raleigh, NC
- Billy Giblin, Nexant, Inc.; Salt Lake City, UT
- Cheryl Newton Architects; Glastonbury, CT
- Englewood Group; Indianapolis, IN
- Forum Architects, Inc.; South Bend, IN
- KGD Architecture; Rosslyn, VA
- Roger Fry & Associates; Coconut Grove, FL
- Steinberg Design Collaborative; Houston, TX
- Think Architecture; Salt Lake City, UT
- The Preston Partnership; Atlanta, GA
- Sandy Adomatis, Adomatis Appraisal Services; Punta Gorda, FL
- BIA of Clark County Green Building Council; Vancouver, WA
- Jason Haun, ZOM Florida; Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Hon. Tim Leavitt, Mayor; Vancouver, WA
Since January 2009, when the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) became the first residential green building rating system to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Home Innovation Research Labs has certified more than 51,300 green homes, and more than 1,500 lots within green residential land developments. (For more details on current certification numbers, visit www.homeinnovation.com/ngbsgreenstats.)
For more information on the NGBS or Home Innovation’s NGBS Green certification program, visit www.homeinnovation.com/green.
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Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.