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Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County holds groundbreakings

Aug 23, 2019 10:52AM

Stanley mayor Steven Denton (center) along with guests and the Jackson family break ground for a new Habitat for Humanity house in Stanley. Habitat Gaston Photo

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County held a groundbreaking ceremony in Stanley on Sunday, August 11, 2019 for the 120th house it will build, and which will be the home of the Jackson family when completed. The Jackson family – Shana, along with her children Brooklyn, age 13, and Tykailen, age 9, were joined by family and friends, along with Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County board members Rev. Claude T. Williams, Patricia Franks, Pastor Ray Hardee, Rev. Ken Alexander, Andy Ratchford, executive director Kay Peninger, and community leaders Stanley Mayor Steve Denton and Kiser Elementary School Assistant Principal Kathi Withers. Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County will begin construction in upcoming weeks and expects that the house will be completed by Thanksgiving.

Executive Director Kay Peninger said in her welcome, “This Habitat house represents our goal of helping families achieve stability, safety, and security through shelter. The Jackson family will have a decent, affordable home where they can focus on their family, where the children can play, where they can celebrate family milestones and traditions, and continue to achieve their dreams for the future.”

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County partnered with United in Action of Stanley Churches to welcome the Jackson family to the Stanley community. The house that will be built at 408 N. Mauney Avenue in Stanley will be the first home that Habitat has built in this community.

Cesar Perez, Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County board member and chair of the Homeowner Services committee, says “this home represents the hard work the Jackson family has invested in taking positive steps for their family and their goals for the future.  Research has shown that homeownership benefits families by reducing stress and that children who live in a stable home achieve more in school.”

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County also recently broke ground for a new home for the Mills family at 421 James Adams Ave. in Gastonia.

Mary (mother) and Demetria (daughter) Mills are a mother and daughter applicant and co-applicant. They will be residing in a five bedroom Habitat home, along with Demetria’s son Omarri, Mary’s granddaughter Ty’Asia and Ty’Asia’s new son, Santana.. 

Mary and Demetria have both experienced hardships within the past few years, which has lead them to find home ownership with Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County. Mary’s other daughter suddenly passed and Mary was left to care and take custody of her grandson and granddaughter. Demetria and Mary became dependent on each other for support and guidance, which led them to apply for the home ownership program together. Their apartment has many windows that do not open, allowing for little circulation of air. The HVAC system in their apartment does not work properly, creating high electric bills. 

Demetria works at Sam’s Club and for Gaston County Schools. Together, Mary and Demetria worked 500 sweat equity hours, attended financial education classes, and saved to pay their closing costs in order to meet their partnership requirements.

A Habitat home will provide the family with a home that is functional and clean, along with the stability they have been seeking after their hardships. 

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County expects the home to be completed by Thanksgiving. 

Founded in 1988, Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County (Habitat Gaston) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit and an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a widely respected global brand. We seek to eliminate poverty housing and to advocate for affordable housing as a matter of conscience and action. Habitat Gaston builds simple, decent housing with help from volunteer labor, the “sweat equity” of our partner families, and community investment of money and materials.

Following completion of partnership commitments (an extensive home ownership and financial planning education program, sweat equity hours, collection debt repayment, and payment of closing costs), partner families purchase their homes with no down-payment and financed with zero-interest mortgages.

Habitat Gaston is committed to making the dream of home ownership a reality for families in the income range of 30% to 60% of area median income as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development by providing a mortgage that is no more than 30% of their gross income.

Habitat Gaston is currently planning and building homes 119, 120, and 121.

Habitat Gaston continues to build a strong and sustainable organization while building affordable homes throughout Gaston County. The organization is well-positioned to build on the success of its first 30 years and is crafting an exciting and powerful vision for the future in order to leverage its expertise to add impact in the areas of neighborhood revitalization and critical home repairs. 

Homeownership is the key to stability, strength, and shelter, as well as the ability to plan for the future. 

We are grateful to the Gaston County Community – individuals, corporations, and foundations – who made this home possible through their generosity.
— BannerNews