For some of us who are of a certain age, hearing about Habitat for Humanity immediately makes us think of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. This is for
good reason. He has a well-documented life of donating his time and skills to building homes for the organization. And in 2016, at age 92, he’s still
using the circular saw and pounding nails in the name of affordable housing for those needing a hand.
The international organization was founded in 1976 and has since provided affordable housing for 6.8 million people. It relies heavily on volunteer labor
with the condition that the owner commits to around 500 hours of “sweat equity”.
Here in Snohomish County, Habitat for Humanity got its start in 1991 and has built 25 houses in 25 years. They’re currently busy building a home near 23rd
and Broadway in Everett.Named Phoenix 2 (because it “rose from the ashes” of a fire that burned the previous house down in 2014), it’s scheduled to
be completed and occupied in mid-December.
Chris Anderson is the Construction Manager for the organization and has been with Habitat for Humanity for about a year. He told me that around 350 community
volunteers have worked on the Phoenix 2 house since construction began in May of this year. Additionally, there are around 20 core volunteer workers
that donate their skills on a regular basis. “The key items required in order to see a project such as this one through are; land acquisition, selection
of a family to live in the home, builders, cash and materials,” Anderson said. Donated building materials are always a welcoming factor to the extent
that its possible. For example, on the current project concrete and framing materials were provide by local businesses free of charge.
The Phoenix 2 house, however, is a mere prelude to the ambitious project that will be started next year. Beginning in the summer of 2017, the construction
of thirty single family homes will get underway. The phased plan, called Twin Creeks Village, will be built on 1.4 acres on 112th Street in Everett
and has a scheduled completion date of August 2023. The net result:permanent affordable housing for approximately 120 low-income Snohomish County residents.
Twin Creeks Village will be by far the largest project that the local chapter of the organization has taken on. Anderson is looking forward to breaking
ground on it next year saying that the six-year implementation plan “will significantly help the Snohomish County Habitat for Humanity affiliate grow
and do more for Snohomish County families.”
Visit Habitat for Humanity for more information, including how to donate and volunteer.
This article was contributed by Joe Clark. Click here to contribute your own article.