Today marked the completion of six new Habitat for Humanity Homes in a wonderful rebuilt neighborhood called Sunrise Park. This Habitat Humanity project is unique, as it is the first entire trailer park replaced in America with affordable housing for its residents. My parish, Church of the Incarnation, helped contribute $60,000 and provided over 1,000 hours of labor toward construction of one new duplex home serving two families. With the help of other faith communities and business partners, this neighborhood has been transformed into a lovely place to call home for many families who provided their own sweat-equity and investments in making this a reality. This has been so successful Habitat for Humanity is now using this model to replace a larger 100 acre trailer park called Southwood.
Sunrise Trailer Court used to be a neighborhood of 16 trailers, and its residents agreed to work with Habitat for Humanity to offer them affordable housing in a co-housing neighborhood model offering apartments, duplex homes, community center and market rate homes. Local architects offered plans that provided, affordable, durable, green, and beautiful buildings for the site. The residents were not displaced during construction, but were offered the new apartments built on-site, while their homes were constructed.
The families who moved into new homes today gave heartfelt thanks to Habitat for Humanity and all the community members who make it happen. Rachel Mayo is a new homeowner from the new house our parish built, and wrote for today’s dedication:
“I would like to thank the people from Habitat who made this dream possible for me and my family. There are no words to express to you how grateful I am. I always wanted to own my home and never thought it was possible until people at Habitat gave me hope. Thank you all for everything that made this happen.” Rachel Mayo
“Our Catholic tradition, eloquently expressed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, insists that shelter is one of the basic rights of the human person. The Second Vatican Council has said with great directness: ‘There must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter…” [“The Right to a Decent Home,” USCCB, 1975]
Please consider volunteering or contributing to Habitat for Humanity to help in this worthy cause to bring affordable housing to those in need in your community. There are more links at the bottom of this blog for contacts with Habitat for Humanity in your community.
THE HABITAT STORE
Another great community asset is the Habitat Store here in Charlottesville. It offers new & used building supplies at 25-75% off retail prices. Many local contractors recycle their building supplies here and assist others with affordable housing. Volunteers help run this store which offers many great products to anyone interested.
SPONSORS for Sunrise Park with Habitat for Humanity