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Construction is underway with a home in Williamstown.

The Habitat Home on Cole Avenue and Maple Street in Williamstown has three bedrooms and twelve hundred square feet of living area. Once completed, we will build a second home on the same lot. At a later date, we will start two more on Summer Street in Williamstown.

Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with individuals and families in need of a decent and affordable place to live. Families are selected based on their need for housing, ability to repay a no-profit mortgage, and willingness to partner with us. The family must provide a minimum of 250 hours of sweat equity in the construction of their home or another community service. The family will then pay a low-interest mortgage. 

The home site pictured in the photo is in the foundation stage of the project. During the Labor Day weekend, the walls will be added.  Volunteers are in high demand! See below for registration instructions.

 

If you would like to volunteer for this upcoming build, please call us at (413) 664-4440 or email us at nbhabitat@msn.com. We could use your help!

No experience is required, however, if you do have a specific skill (listed below), please contact Paul Austin at 802-694-1606 or email paustin@fairpoint.net

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Owners of heavy equipment for digging foundations

No matter how you decide to become involved, you will meet great people who find tremendous satisfaction from working together and helping others.

For more information about volunteering, click here.

 

Melvin chips in to help with raking

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We'd like to thank...

Providing architectural services for residential, institutional, municipal and commercial clients. Burr and McCallum has provided design services to our affiliate on each of our projects.

Corporate Partner

Burr and McCallum Architects
PO Box 345
720 Main St.
01267 MA
United States

You are most likely wondering about the status of the Cole heard from us requesting volunteers for the project. You may have read or heard some news about the project but remain unclear when construction will start. Let me assure you we will be needing you soon. We are working to get to that first day of construction. We are as anxious to execute the first house as much as you are.

We have made considerable progress on the pre-construction phase of the project. Much of this phase has involved seeking numerous approvals from the Town of Williamstown and Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for affordable housing. We have successfully passed many hurtles with one remaining agreement required from the DHCD before obtaining the title to the land. We have already completed much of the necessary site evaluation including a comprehensive survey, drainage details and utility locations. Work is continuing on drawings for permitting, scheduling, estimating and fund raising. Every-thing is coming together for a Spring 2019 ground breaking.

We will continue to update progress as the project gets closer to ground breaking. We look forward to working with all of you.

Brush With Kindness programs Home Preservation and Critical Repairs help homeowners and neighborhoods.

The Brush With Kindness (BWK) program was developed by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) to assist low income families struggling to maintain the exterior of their homes There are many reasons why a homeowner requires assistance with repairs. Homeowners without sufficient funds to make repairs are often affected by age, disability or family circumstances and struggle to maintain the integrity of their homes. To assist families BWK has been expanded into two programs: Home Preservation and Critical Repairs. BWK is also seen as a way to expand Habitat’s role within the community.

Home Preservation is designed for all exterior work that includes any painting, patching, minor repair, landscaping or replacement of exterior building materials for maintaining good or sound condition. These repairs help revitalize the appearance of neighborhoods, strengthens connections within the community and helps preserve affordable housing stock. 

Critical Home Repair returns a house to a livable condition as extensive interior or exterior work is performed to alleviate critical health, life and safety issues or code violations. These major repair projects allow families to remain in their homes. Installing an access ramp or reconstructing a porch foundation that is on the verge of collapsing are examples of a critical need repair 

Selection of candidates for either Home Preservation and Critical Home Repair must meet three criteria.  The criteria for a family seeking assisting with a repair are

  1. A need for adequate housing
  2. Ability to pay back a loan
  3. A willingness to partner with the Habitat affiliate.

A family’s inability to obtain a conventional loan to pay for the work can be seen as an indicator of need. Circumstances that prevent the homeowners from doing the work themselves—such as disability, age or illness is another indicator of need. In many cases, homeowners simply lack the knowledge and ability to carry out general maintenance and repairs to their home. Repairs can be costly, specifically the cost of labor. Habitat eliminates this cost with volunteer labor. Families must have the ability to pay for materials, which is often far less than the labor cost. It is expected that the family contributes to the repair with sweat equity, the essence of the partnership, working alongside volunteers to complete the repair. We realize that some applicants may not have the ability to provide sweat equity. Other arrangements can be made to fulfill the requirement. 

The process for making a repair. A family contacts the affiliate to describe the needed repair and request an application. The completed application with basic financial information is returned to determine the need. A knowledgeable construction volunteer visits the family to review the application with family and examine the situation. Family Selection Committee (FSC) reviews the application based on the criteria previously discussed, financial information and affiliate’s ability to perform the repair. When the family is selected an estimate and, in some cases, drawings are prepared for permitting. If the family accepts the estimate, a formal contract is drawn up and any required permit applications are submitted to the town’s building department. Work is scheduled and a partial material down payment is requested. Materials are purchased and work begins. Upon completion a certificate of approval for the work is signed by the family and the affiliate. 

Brush With Kindness is an immensely valuable program for low-income families to maintain the integrity of their home. The program is consistent with Habitat’s mission of working with families as they lift up their lives, by building safe, sound and affordable housing.