Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County, or HFHAC, has plans to build three new homes in Oak Ridge in 2017.
“Now, thanks to all of the generous sponsors and construction volunteers, these plans are being realized!” a press release said.
The foundation has been dug for the first home, which is located at 214 North Illinois Avenue.
Representatives from UT-Battelle, the managing contractor of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, presented a $25,000 check to HFHAC during a January 5 groundbreaking ceremony. The donation will be used to purchase materials for the Morgan family home, the press release said.
Thomas Zacharia, ORNL’s deputy lab director for science and technology, spoke about UT-Battelle’s longstanding commitment to Habitat for Humanity, the press release said.
“ORNL employees have volunteered hundreds of hours to help build several Habitat homes, providing construction labor and electrical and plumbing expertise,” the release said.
Other sponsors well-represented at the groundbreaking ceremony included Leidos, TNBank, and First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge, all sizable contributors for this first home. Raymond Merickel, Mark Holder, and Reverend Rory Naeve, representing their organizations respectively, also spoke to the group about their pride in being able to join Habitat to change the lives of hard working families through homeownership, the press release said.
Also on hand at the ceremony was Todd Berry, with Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, who came from Nashville to be a part of this event. FHLB has awarded several grants to HFHAC in the last few years including committing funds for these three builds. Berry spoke of the FHLB ongoing efforts to help organizations in several states continue their missions of eliminating poverty housing.
Habitat’s homeownership program is A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out. Habitat Partner Families actually purchase their homes after working up to 400 hours of sweat equity and making a $1,500 down payment, the press release said. What makes Habitat homes in Anderson County affordable is 0 percent interest.
HFHAC is an ecumenical ministry that builds, repairs, and rehabilitates simple, decent, and affordable houses with participating families; working with diverse individuals, organizations, and faith communities to serve others. Motivated by the belief that each of us is called to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God,” Habitat seeks to be a partner and catalyst in building communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and believes that no one lives in dignity until everyone can live in dignity, the press release said.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity homeownership or home repair programs, call the local office at (865) 482-7713, and speak to Donna Mosby, director of homeowner services, or email her at [email protected]. To learn more about the many Habitat volunteer opportunities, donating, or becoming a sponsor, contact Charlotte Bowers, executive director, at the same number or by email at [email protected].
This press release was submitted by Maureen Hoyt.