Roughly 180 women have joined together to renovate a home in Ypsilanti for a local, hardworking woman as part of the Women Build project for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley (Habitat Huron Valley). Fifteen teams of women have or will volunteer for a day March through May, and will build alongside the future homeowner during the 11th annual National Women Build initiative.
“Women Build is a great opportunity for local women and partners to rally together to learn new skills and complete a home for a local woman,” said Sarah Stanton, the Habitat Huron Valley Executive Director. “It is a great opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving our communities. It provides an experience for women to empower other women.”
Since 2006, Habitat Huron Valley has hosted various Women Build activities. A long-time supporter of the initiative, the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation, is providing a match this year to any donation made before May 12, up to $20,000 to help support the cost of renovations on the home. The foundation is also bringing a group of women to volunteer. PNC, which has supported Women Build for five years, also rejoins the initiative this year with financial and volunteer help.
Habitat Huron Valley estimates that each home costs roughly $60,000 in renovation costs, as well as an additional $40,000 in acquisition of the property, inspections, contractor work, and sale of the home costs.
The groups of 8-12 women have been completing construction tasks from 9 AM to 4 PM on Fridays and Saturdays since March and will finish in May. They are helping complete the home to be sold to a future Habitat homeowner. Habitat homebuyers qualify for an affordable mortgage, make a $1,000 down payment, and put in at least 250 “sweat equity” hours of home renovation, financial management classes, and other Habitat education or home maintenance.
The current Women Build future Habitat homeowner is Shawna Swoffer, who was born in Ypsilanti and grew up in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. Shawna says she has had many struggles since a young age and looks forward to having her own home. She plans to enroll in college for a degree in psychology after she closes on her Habitat home.
Habitat Huron Valley is one of 300 Habitat organizations nationwide hosting Women Build projects. National Women Build brings together women to devote at least one day to building decent and affordable housing in their local communities. Nearly 100,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered in previous years.
For more information or to support the build, visit www.h4h.org/women-build.
About Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley
Established in 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley has built or renovated over 200 homes in Washtenaw County. Habitat homeowners qualify for an affordable mortgage from Habitat, make a $1,000 down payment, and put in at least 250 hours (per adult household member) of “sweat equity” in building their home. Habitat has expanded to provide home improvement projects to low-income families in neighborhoods we already target, providing over 500 such projects since 2011. For more information, visit www.h4h.org.