Bangor, ME – Over the summer, Holly Young of Levant learned that she and her son had been selected for the next Habitat home to be built in Bangor. This will be the 19th Habitat home to be built in the Greater Bangor area.
Stan MacMillan donated the land the home will be built on, and fundraising is still ongoing to pay for building materials. Habitat is partnering with Eastern Maine Community College’s Building Construction Technology Program for this build. Students, under the direction of EMCC instructors Les Stackpole, Brad Bailey, and Walter Knox, will frame the house, build the kitchen cabinets and, with help from Power Solutions’ Dave St. Louis, install all the electrical wiring and fixtures.
Young was stunned to learn that she was selected for the home ownership program. To qualify, families must earn a stable income 30%-80% of the area median income (around $24,000 – $49,000 for a family of four), live in substandard conditions, and be willing to invest 200 hours of sweat equity per adult into the construction of their home. Upon completion, Young will purchase the home and pay an affordable mortgage. Her total monthly payment will be capped at 30% of her current gross income for the lifetime of the 30-year mortgage.
It was not Young’s intention to apply for this home; she did so only at her friend’s insistence. Like many, she did not think she would qualify and didn’t fully understand the program. Furthermore, she is not one to complain. “Even though I don’t have much,” says Young, “I was raised to appreciate all that I do have.”
Young works 72 hours a week at two jobs to provide for her son.
She has approved the house plans drawn by Lin Lufkin in collaboration with Stackpole and Bailey, and earthwork has already begun. The official groundbreaking ceremony will be at noon on Tuesday, October 11.
The Habitat affiliate in Bangor is simultaneously wrapping up its 18th home on Ohio Street. “This is the first time we will be working on two homes at the same time,” says Executive Director Lynn Hempen. “St. Paul the Apostle Parish donated the land and raised all the funds to build the home on Ohio Street. Parishioners have worked together every Saturday to build it. It’s been amazing. The home we are getting ready to build will be more typical for us: A private landowner donated the land. We are raising funds from the Greater Bangor community. The build itself will be a little different, however. We’re thrilled to be partnering with EMCC.”
“Students will complete nearly all of the building,” says Les Stackpole, head of the Building Construction Technology Program. “They will meet their graduation requirements while gaining hands-on experience that will be a little different from what they’re used to. It’s great for them to meet the family who will be living in the home and to work on-site. It gives the work real meaning.”
“I’m so grateful my friend was so persistent in getting me to apply,” says Young. “I have always worked long hours to pay the bills, but I never imagined I would be able to own my own home. I’m still pinching myself!”
To support the notion that everyone deserves a decent place to live, go to www.habitatbangor.org/donate to make an online donation. Every dollar raised will go directly to purchase building materials and pay for professional services not donated. To make an in-kind contribution or learn more about the program, call 207-991-1803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor has worked in partnership with volunteers and low-income families to build 18 simple, decent houses in the local community. Habitat’s affordable house payments free up money for food, child care, medicine, and other necessities. Research has shown that decent housing improves health, increases children’s educational achievement, and strengthens community ties.