Habitat for Humanity constructs first duplex project

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The folks at Habitat For Humanity have really outdone themselves this time: Habitat is knocking it out of the park two families at a time. In what turns out to be a unique first-time event for Indiana is a reality due to tremendous generosity, dedicated volunteers and good stewardship of resources.

On April 11, Habitat broke ground and began construction of the first duplex construction project in Indiana. A brand new residence with a left and a right side address, plus garage, will provide shelter for two families. Once settled inside their new safe, decent and affordable home, the families can learn to live, love and grow, just like their fellow homeowner neighbors.

Salin Bank donated the land in an established, well-kept Carmel neighborhood. Because the homes in the area tend to primarily be duplexes, organizers decided a duplex should fill the empty lot. Rhett Cecil, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County, says, “We are known for single family, modest one-story homes. But in this neighborhood, where the land was, our normal model would not work. So, we adapted our plans to fit the personality of the neighborhood.”

As you may know, to become eligible for a Habitat Home, sweat must be contributed in order to earn equity in the house. Thus, sweat equity from every partner family is a must, and although ground has just been broken, both partner families are almost totally invested. Richard Carriger of Carmel United Methodist Church enjoys working alongside the partner families from the planning process through construction. He said, “I get a huge payback from the families. It is very rewarding.”

Carriger serves as head of mission work for Carmel United Methodist. His church, along with St. Marks United Methodist Church and other Methodist Hamilton County congregations, have taken responsibility for one side of the duplex. Northview Church stepped forward and is accountable for the other side. Together, the church community will see to it $130,000 is raised, hammers pound, saws cut and tape measures measure. It will take more than 600 volunteers working during the next 12 to 13 weeks until finally, on the last day, two sets of keys will go to two families to unlock a new chapter in their lives.

I promise to keep you updated on the progress of this magnificent project during the next few months. If you would like to get involved, contact Cecil at896-9423, ext. 1.

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