Tag Archives: Habitat for Humanity

Real estate firm helps give home to Queens family

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Urban Compass

Real estate firm Urban Compass is donating money — and time — so that a Queens family can have a home of their own.

The company has pledged $20,000 to Habitat for Humanity New York City to renovate a vacant Jamaica home, which will be purchased by a family of four from Elmhurst that was selected through the organization’s affordable homeownership program.

Urban Compass employees will also volunteer 500 hours to help construct the home at 178-25 93rd Ave. So far the team has already helped put up Sheetrock and worked on the backyard and lighting.

“The employees in the company are very community oriented and people that want to participate in society around them and help make the world better,” said Robert Reffkin, CEO and founder of Urban Compass.

The house, which is the first of many that Urban Compass plans to help Habitat NYC with, is expected to be completed in six months. The family will be able to move in May of next year.

178-25 93rd Ave.

178-25 93rd Ave.

Originally built in 1920, the home has been vacant for several years and has fallen into disrepair, according to Habitat for Humanity.

The organization bought the house for $1 from the New York City Housing Authority to be one of 13 properties around the city that will be transformed and purchased at low mortage interest rates by families through its homeownership program.



Family gets house in Jamaica thanks to Habitat for Humanity

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Maggie Hayes

Dawnette Dixon finally has her own home and even a backyard, fixed up by none other than a former president.

Habitat for Humanity acquired five New York City Housing Authority (NCYHA) homes in the borough that were abandoned, boarded up and a “blight” in the community. One of those homes was on 112th Road in Jamaica, which was vacant for roughly two decades. It is also the home Dixon, her son and daughter will be moving into early next year.

“We said to the city, we’ll turn [the homes] around,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity NYC.

Hetherington and the Habitat team hosted the 30th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project to build and repair homes citywide. President Carter, 89, and his wife have been working with the group for almost 30 years, and the Jamaica home was part of a country-wide tour fixing houses.

Carter worked the power tools and his wife moved slabs of wood, all part of constructing a new deck for the Dixons. Hundreds of volunteers and the Dixons themselves worked on the new house. Construction is estimated to be complete in six to eight weeks.

As well as cleaning up the once-vacant home, Habitat for Humanity makes upkeep for the home affordable for people like Dixon, 53, who works for the Department of Health. They receive government grants and state mortgages which can make living affordable in the long haul.

“Now they have the pride and dignity associated with not only building their home, but paying for their home,” Hetherington said. “It’s helping in a dignified way.”

Dixon, who lived in Brooklyn for most of her life, “can’t explain how excited” she is. She is moving to the home from a cramped apartment in Prospect Park.

“This is a change of environment, a change of scenery and a new life,” she said. “Even if I don’t have anything in the house, as long as I’m living there, I’m happy.”



National Grid makes recovery announcements in Breezy Point

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Breezy Point is getting back on the grid.

As part of a cooperative effort with Habitat for Humanity, National Grid made a slew of recovery announcements on Friday, May 17 to benefit the neighborhood.

Company president Ken Daly announced the supplier has replaced 14 miles worth of gas lines in Breezy Point and given grants to three local businesses to continue rebuilding.

“This is not just about National Grid, and it’s not just about our employees,” Daly said. “It’s really about our extended family.”

One of the grant recipients was Kathy Dady, a 24-year Breezy Point resident who runs Breezy Point Lumber on West Market Street.

Although the lumber yard was damaged by the storm, Dady said the staff still took in orders for when deliveries could be made. The yard reopened three weeks after Sandy and has since contributed to many rebuilt homes. Dady expects to stay involved in the process.

“Everybody relies on the lumberyard,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be [supplying lumber] for the houses that were burnt.”

Habitat for Humanity of Westchester County has worked in Breezy since the storm hit. Executive director James Killoran said while more than six months have passed, there is still a long road ahead for the community.

Killoran added that the Breezy Point community has the chance to become better, greener and more prepared for future storms.

“We’re not ready and we have to do something better,” he said. “Disaster doesn’t take a vacation, and neither do we.”