Thursday, June 22, 2006
County Habitat builds new house
By SUE WATSON
Thanks to lots of volunteer help, Marshall County Habitat for Humanity is putting up its fifth new house which will be home to a family before summer’s end.
Lots of volunteer help and donations go into every new house to help keep construction costs down. The new homeowner puts sweat equity in the house as it is built - cleaning, painting, trimming - and then puts in another 400 hours equity in the next Habitat house that is built.
Habitat treasurer Greg Taylor, a member of the board of directors who helped organize Marshall County Habitat for Humanity 10 years ago, said lots of volunteer help, and donated building materials and labor make it possible to build a house that is affordable in the end for the new owner.
The county banks rotate the handling of the loan for each new home that is built, in this case Citizens Bank of Byhalia.
The new Habitat house will be affordable because so much labor is donated, materials are often purchased at cost from suppliers, or construction companies that have leftover supplies donate them.
In most cases, Habitat for Humanity purchases the lot, but in this one Pacific Builders in Marks donated the lot.
So far some of the contributors to the construction of this house, located in The Meadows in Holly Springs, are Thomas Construction of Holly Springs and his crew of 18 builders who put up the exterior black board, framing and roof last week working two days without pay; an energy company in Ashland that donated construction materials; architect Bill Wage, who drew up the prints for the three-bedroom and two-bath home of 1,170 square feet; local material suppliers who sell materials at cost and oftentimes give a donation, too; Whirlpool who donates many of the appliances; and Russell Johnson, building supervisor on all the Habitat homes built in Marshall County to date, according to Taylor.
He cited numerous examples of how volunteers pour in to build a new house.
Locally, certified plumbers like Harvey Payne, and electricians donate their labor; folks bring refreshments; unskilled volunteers show up to carry tools and lumber; the new homeowner puts in 400 hours of “sweat equity” on their house and the next one built; church groups locally or from up north bring teenage volunteers; and sometimes civic groups get involved.
Habitat board member Hank Thomas said volunteer help makes a difference.
“This is a good cause and if we could get more people in town to volunteer to help, maybe we could do two houses a year,” he said. “It takes community involvement and participation to come in here and do this stuff.”
Thomas worked as a Habitat volunteer with his church in Biloxi following Hurricane Katrina last summer.
Habitat board member Bob Tyson said the foundation work is hired out. The sweat equity is important to the new homeowner, he said.
“We find the people who help build the house take care of it better,” he said.
Churches, schools, civic clubs and individuals with construction skills, certified plumbers and electricians, any individuals who are interested in volunteering in any way to this project may call Leontyne Thompson, president of Marshall County Habitat, at 252-1306 to ask how to help.
(662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
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