We're kicking off 2019 by handing over the keys to five new Habitat homeowners. Five families who will now own a home and a piece of their neighborhood. Five families who no longer have to worry about abusive landlords, the threat of eviction or overcrowding in an apartment. Five families who, through their own hard work and commitment, have defied those who would deny them access to the American dream of homeownership. Five families who have written their own stories of success.
You can read more about one of these homes – the "phoenix house" of North Central Troy – and its new owner here.
We have chosen, as our means of manifesting neighborly love, to create opportunities for all people to have decent places to call home. Together, we build and together we celebrate our five new homeowners. But we aren't content to be just another real estate developer or homebuilder or service provider. We know that we can't build our way out of this housing crisis; rather, we need an infusion of creativity and compassion in our work. We need new ideas, more imagination and a commitment to justice.
On January 29th and 30th, we welcomed Habitat leaders from across the state to Albany for an advocacy training and visits with our state legislators. Housing plays an essential role in a family's stability and success. For every family whose house we help build, we must advocate for policy change that will help build a better future for a hundred more families. We must be bold in our demands and unwavering in our call for justice. Over the coming months, we will work to create a new five-year strategic plan with an emphasis on advocacy, equity and sustainability. Please stay tuned for invitations to participate in the planning process.
Finally, as we reflect on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and the work of so many powerful Black leaders this month, we recommit to King's vision of a "beloved community." The beloved community is fair. The beloved community is just. And the beloved community is built on love. Not just any love, but as Dr. King said "the love of God operating in the human heart." That's a practical love that requires participation. When that love is truly and fully present, it compels us to act.
We look forward to another year of building homes and community with all of you.
Christine Schudde Executive Director
Staff and volunteers have been diligently making progress on the rehabilitation of two buildings in Troy's North Central neighborhood. This picture of the buildings shown above, 79 and 81 5th Avenue, was taken just after our contractors completed the roof—and right before that massive snow storm the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If the roof hadn't been completed that day, more than one foot of snow would have piled up inside. Trust me, our timing doesn't always work out so well, but we are grateful it did this time.
We've completed construction on all four of our new construction homes in Albany's South End, a continuation of Habitat's development of 16 homes on Alexander and Delaware Streets back in 2012. Stay tuned for a dedication announcement for those homes sometime early summer once the weather warms up.
Get your Hops for Homes coupon book today
Hops for Homes is a year-long collaboration between Habitat and your favorite local breweries to raise awareness and funds for affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.