Habitat for Humanity New Castle County works with community members to produce volunteer opportunities and eliminate substandard housing. As our history from 1986 shows completion of over 250 homes and ranking top three among the Habitat Northeast affiliates, Habitat New Castle County prides itself on internal and external construction. The construction program we implement here at New Castle County includes A Brush With Kindness, a nation-wide effort to serve homeowners who live in low-income housing and struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes.
Construction with Habitat for Humanity not only focuses on home improvement but also unites the community to strengthen community services and involvement. Habitat New Castle County applies the broader community development strategy called the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which is designed to intentionally pursue our strategic imperative of helping transform and strengthen communities.
The construction of new homes is the largest part of Habitat NCC’s construction program. On average, we build 13-15 new homes per year. Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County operates as a general contractor and developer, managing the land development process from raw land to building permit, and then through the construction process.
New homes are the primary outlet for construction volunteers who help with the framing, installation, electrical, painting, finished carpentry, and landscaping. The other work is performed by paid subcontractors.
The renovation of existing homes makes up about 20 percent of our work in the construction program. Renovating homes that are located close to new construction is an important part of our strategy in revitalizing a neighborhood. Typical renovations take longer than building the same number of new homes, and usually have various unknown challenges when they are started.
A Brush with Kindness
A Brush with Kindness is an effort to serve homeowners who live in low-income housing and struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes. Focusing on exterior home improvement services, such as painting, minor exterior repairs, landscaping, roofing and exterior clean-up, A Brush with Kindness provides current homeowners with the support they need to revitalize the exterior of their home.
A Brush with Kindness is a partner to Habitat for Humanity International’s core building program and allows us to serve a different population than we currently serve, yet follows the same basic tenets for eligibility (need, willingness to partner). It is a direct fit with HFH’s strategic plan to exponentially increase the number of families served in the New Castle County area by utilizing a holistic approach that revitalizes the appearance of the neighborhood, encourages connections within the community, and most importantly, helps preserve affordable housing stock.