Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity Constructing Largest Project in Northeast US
(Clayton, NJ) - The largest single Habitat for Humanity project in the Northeast U.S. is currently under construction in Gloucester County. The Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity is building a major subdivision of twelve affordable homes in Clayton for low-income Gloucester County families.
Construction funding was provided by the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Department of Economic Development and the Division of Housing and Community Development. These funds extend from Federal grant sources designated for non-profit community development organizations such as Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity which receives no funding from the parent organization, Habitat for Humanity International.
Future homeowners in the Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity program must demonstrate the ability to pay for the house and must work 400 'sweat equity' hours toward ownership. According to Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Allan Connors, "We view homeownership as a social and financial platform from which these families will grow into good neighbors and solid citizens. Homeownership is nothing less than simple dignity."
Connors also said, "The funding from Gloucester County government and administration clearly demonstrates a visionary commitment by anticipating the growing need for affordable housing."
Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney said that as a Community Housing Development Organization, Habitat for Humanity was eligible for the funding to acquire the 4.7 acres of land that the homes will sit on, to subdivide it, perform all the site planning, pay for all of the zoning and planning permits and fees and infrastructure costs.
"Owning a home is the American dream and it can be difficult to achieve, especially for the working poor," said Freeholder Director Sweeney. "This partnership between the county and the Gloucester County Habitat is providing families with the ability to reach the American dream. That is what government is supposed to be doing, giving people a hand up," said Sweeney.
Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi Jr. said that his Departments, including the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development and the Gloucester County Institute of Technology, have been working closely with the Habitat project to ensure its success.
"Through the county's Federal Community Block Grant program the county has already dispersed $375,000 to this project and we have committed to a total of $786,000 for the completion of the program," said Freeholder Brigandi. "Building these homes in this subdivision is an investment in the future of our community."
Brigandi, who is the liaison to the Department of Economic Development and to the Department of Education, said that GCIT students in the School of Construction Technology are also deeply invested in the project.
"This project is the result of a big vision by Gloucester County's Habitat for Humanity and there are so many people involved in making it happen from volunteers, government, students and local business. We are proud to play a part," said Brigandi.
A 1:30 pm Project Dedication Ceremony is scheduled on August 24th in the subdivision located on Filbert Street in Clayton.