#Giving for Good
Meet this month's #Giving for Good Hero
Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity
Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity (MVHFH) is a non-profit builder of affordable homes founded in 1985 by concerned local citizens who came together as volunteers. It is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the largest non-profit homebuilder in the world with a network of over 2,100 affiliates. This terrific organization builds simple, affordable, comfortable homes in partnership with the families who need them. It serves Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Bradford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Salisbury, West Boxford, West Newbury as well as Atkinson, Plaistow and Salem, NH.
Founded on the conviction that everyone should have a safe and decent place to live, Habitat’s ultimate goal is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in the world by providing homeownership opportunities to those in need. Its programs bring people together – both at the community level and in the broader society (government, civic organizations, the general public, etc.) to build homes to be owned by families in the communities we serve in the Merrimack Valley.
According to its website: ‘Habitat families get a hand up, not a hand out. They buy their homes from MVHFH after they provide between 240 and 360 of “sweat equity hours” to build their own home and other families’ homes. They purchase their homes with a zero-interest mortgage held by MVHH, and then pay a reasonable monthly mortgage that includes an escrow payment for taxes, insurance and maintenance.’
Since 1985 Habitat volunteers and staff have built 86 homes and rehabbed 11 others. It has four additional homes currently under construction and another 11 in the pipeline.
In 2016 Institution for Savings Bank donated a 1.8 acre parcel of buildable land located at 20 Old County Road in Salisbury to MVHFH to be used for affordable housing construction. The Old County Road property currently under construction will be Habitat’s first affordable housing project built in Salisbury and provide seven deserving families with the opportunity to own their home in Salisbury. The search for families has already begun. In announcing the gift, MVHFH’s former Executive Director Randy Larson said “We are extremely grateful for this gift, and eager to start establishing partnerships in the Salisbury area to begin construction. This land is beautiful and ideal for Habitat families, given its proximity to the community garden, public transportation and other services.”
Those wishing to volunteer should visit MVHFH website at www.merrimackvalleyhabitat.org