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The President & CEO's Blog

From Jeff Dee, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

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Events

Volunteer Recognition 2019

Our annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards event was held recently.  Every year, over 4,000 unique volunteers donate time on the construction site, in one of our ReStores, or  on a committee.  The great thing about our society and our local community is that so many wonderful people take the time to help.

Volunteers serve on various committees including our Annual Affordable Housing Benefit Breakfast, Family Services, Faith, Finance, Golf, Polo (yes Polo, but you don’t have to play), ReStore and Women Build.

Over 34,000 hours were contributed, and all of these efforts saved Habitat for Humanity in excess of $871,000 in Fiscal Year 2019.

Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards recognized volunteers for extraordinary service and commitment to the mission and work of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland.

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The R. Glynn Mays Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mimi Brodsky Kress for outstanding volunteer service to Habitat.  Mimi is the co-owner and COO of Sandy Spring Builders.

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The Harry & Lutie Semmes Award honored Robyn Motley for outstanding performance by a member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.  Robyn is the Senior Vice President of Revenue Optimization and General Manager for AARP Media.

Check out the full program for bios and award recipients.

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For more information about volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, please visit our website at www.habitatmm.org

 

Groundbreaking for New Construction

We are very excited about breaking ground for the new construction of Universal Design, single family houses in Prince George’s County.  On Friday, March 22, over 50 members of the community, consisting of government, business, faith groups and members of the Habitat Board of Directors, attended a ceremony to launch the building of an affordable and healthy house in the Town of Fairmount Heights.

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The vacant lot where the house will be built was purchased by Habitat from Prince George’s County.   Several other single family lots are in Habitat’s pipeline for new construction as well.

About Universal Design Homes…..

Universal Design focuses on building homes that are accessible to all regardless of age or ability, accommodating families throughout their life cycle.  For example, a no step entry makes access easy for parents with strollers and those in wheelchairs. Also, each home has two bathrooms, one with a walk in shower and the other includes a tub with a seat for easy bathing of children.  We’re excited about this flexible and thoughtful design focused on a family’s needs over many years.

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Special thanks go to Stephanie Anderson, attorney with O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A., and a member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors for providing the Welcome & Overview.

Special remarks were given by Congressman Anthony Brown, Maryland’s 4th District, Ken Sonner, Senior Vice President, Old Line Bank, and Eddie Quinn, Chief Financial Officer, TW Perry.

A blessing of the construction site was provided by Pastor R. Kevin Matthews, The Shepherd’s House ICC.

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In addition to Stephanie Anderson, other members of the Habitat board included Vice Chair, Loretta Sevier, and Edward W. Hummers, Jr., and former board member Buck Bartley, The Bartley Corp.

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We were pleased to have Marvin Turner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Jolene Ivey, Prince George’s Council Member District #5 join the celebration as well.

Habitat for Humanity believes that housing affordability is a fundamental human right.  You can get more information about our work by visiting our web site  www.habitatmm.org

Habitat is currently taking applications for homeownership as well!

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Action in Montgomery (AIM)

Last Thursday, hundreds of faith based community residents attended a rally at Bethel World Outreach Church in Olney.  The purpose of this meeting was to secure commitments from Montgomery County government officials for equity in education, immigration, and affordable housing.  I was impressed by the great energy in the room and the wonderful music provided by the Bethel World Outreach Choir.

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Bethel World Outreach Choir

In attendance was Marc Elrich, County Executive, and County Councilmembers Evan Glass, Hans Riemer, Will Jawando, Sidney Katz and Gabe Albornoz.

Bishop Darlingston Johnson, Pastor of Bethel World Outreach Church welcomed everyone to the church followed by an opening prayer by Pastor Haywood Robinson III, Peoples Community Baptist Church.

There were several questions for elected officials in attendance:

Education

  1. Will you (county officials) commit to expand the Excel Beyond the Bell Elementary program, including parent leadership training, to at least two additional schools this year? All confirmed their support for education.
  2. Will you commit to funding school construction for South Lake and Burnt Mils in the FY 2020 Capital Budget? All confirmed their support for more school funding.
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Councilmember Katz
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Councilmember Albornoz

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Councilmember Glass

Immigration

  1. Will you sustain or increase the $370,000 in grants to fund legal services for residents at-risk of deportation or in deportation proceedings during FY 2020? The County Executive plans to increase grant funding in the FY 2020 budget and councilmembers voiced their support.
  2. In the next two weeks, will you send AIM a list of 5 partners with whom we can jointly meet to ask for additional funding? All confirmed their support.
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Councilmember Jawando
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Councilmember Riemer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Housing

  1. County Executive Elrich has committed to write a letter to the WMATA Board (Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Area), asking them to halt the sale or lease of WMATA land in Montgomery County until they meet with AIM and our elected officials to prioritize affordable housing on this land. All agreed to support this strategy.
  2. County Executive Elrich, we are asking you tonight to use your power to identify 3-5 parcels of public land for affordable housing development in the next 3 months, and to start the process of developing them by the end of the calendar year. County Executive Elrich said he thinks he could identify 3-5 parcels of land for affordable housing development.
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County Executive Elrich

This session was followed by a Call to Action by Pastor Charles Tapp, Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church

The closing prayer was led by Pastor Chris Posch, St. Camillus Catholic Church.

For more information about AIM click here

Women Build Launch Party

Last Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of attending the Women Build Launch Party hosted by Mimi Kress in the beautiful showroom of Sandy Spring Builders.  Nearly 100 women (and a few men) joined together to celebrate the launch of our annual campaign to build affordable homes in our community.

Since 1991, Women Build volunteers from all walks of life have come together to build stronger, safer communities.

Though our neighborhoods are comprised largely of women and children, they are also the population most likely to be affected by poor living conditions.  Our Women Build teams provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities and help families achieve affordable home ownership.

Women Build opportunities are available for any woman who wants to learn how to build and construct a home.  No experience is necessary.  Volunteers work under the guidance of construction professionals, and also alongside other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners.

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Our goal this year is to recruit 36 teams (10 women on a team) and raise $200,000.  Currently, 46 teams are registered, so we are confident we will achieve our goal.  See the Women Build Flyer here  if you would like more information on forming a team or joining an existing team, or being a corporate sponsor.

Thank you to our corporate and faith sponsors for this year’s Women Build!

Women Build Community Sponsors

Community Sponsors

Women Build Sponsors

Sponsors

 

Launch Party Event Sponsors

Event Sponsors

HFH-MC’s 30th Anniversary

HFH-MC celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 4, 2012 at the Rooftop at Rockville Town Center.  Thank you to the many event sponsors and attendees that made the event a success.  The event raised nearly $75,000 to help fund the Maple Hill project, a 19-townhouse subdivision that HFH-MC is building in the City of Gaithersburg.

 

During this celebration, HFH-MC was honored to receive citations and proclamations from the office of U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and Ryan Spiegel, Councilmember of the City of Gaithersburg.

Receiving the proclamation from the City of Gaithersburg.

For the past three decades, HFH-MC dynamically lived the mission of transforming lives for many residents of Montgomery County by providing affordable housing for working families who live in substandard conditions.

Why is affordable housing important?

Several studies show that some of the potential benefits of homeownership are:

  • Greater educational achievement and moral growth of children
  • Lower community crime rates
  • Lessened welfare dependency
  • More family participation in civic affairs
  • Better physical health

During the last several years, HFH-MC acquired and redeveloped foreclosed or abandoned properties that might become sources of blight within their communities.  An average of $50,000 was spent to redo each house, including gutting the kitchens and baths, installing updated electric, plumbing, Energy Star windows and fixtures.  Each house is well insulated to keep energy bills low.  When HFH-MC rehabilitates or constructs a new home for a low-income family, the community wins too!  Economic benefits for Habitat homeowners are generated, as well as, for Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.

So the challenge in the years to come is to work with community leaders to identify land that is unclaimed and suitable for affordable housing.  This might be land that was originally earmarked for roads, schools, or county facilities.  HFH-MC’s objective is to re-purpose this type of land so that the affordable housing crisis in Montgomery County is stopped.  Do you know of any other way to find land for affordable housing?

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