Marshville Habitat subdivision gets two more families
Union County Habitat for Humanity dedicated two more houses Saturday, Jan. 7, bringing the total in its latest project to 91. The homes are part of an ongoing project to bring the first ever Union Habitat subdivision, Gulf Bay Estates, to Marshville.
A four-bedroom house was dedicated to Felicia Barker and her three children, and a three-bedroom home was dedicated to Deloris Dassaro and her two daughters. Like all Habitat-built houses, the homes were sold at cost to the families, greatly reducing their monthly mortgage payments.
Barker, who moved here three years ago from the Caribbean, had a difficult time paying rent and finding affordable housing. After being approved for Habitat housing, Barker received extra assistance from Union Habitat family services coordinator Alice Baker, who helped Barker with the official ins and outs of home buying.
“She helped me understand everything, since I don’t know all the rules of America,” Barker said.
Habitat-built homes are Energy Star efficient, costing no more than $42 per month to heat or cool. All people who apply for Habitat housing must be employed with a minimum income of $23,000 per year, have a decent credit score, and have a need for a home.
Union Habitat receives assistance from volunteers throughout the year. Church groups, school clubs, companies, and individuals pitch in to donate time and/or money to help these families’ dream become a reality.
For Dassaro, help came from her employer, Decore-ative Specialties of Monroe. The company supplied all the cabinetry for Dassaro’s home.
“I’ve been blessed because Decore-ative (Specialties) really helped me out,” Dassaro said. “They have been really good to me.”
In return, Union Habitat presented Decore-ative specialties with an appreciation plaque at the dedication ceremony.
Once completed, Gulf Bay Estates will contain 19 Habitat-built homes. So far, 13 houses have been built in Gulf Bay Estates. Union Habitat hopes to have all the subdivision’s houses framed by July.
Union Habitat also has started work in Chesterfield County, SC, and recently dedicated the third house in Pageland. Adding to its history, the houses in Gulf Bay Estates and Chesterfield County, Union Habitat hopes to build its 100th house by the end of the year.
The upcoming months are going to be busy for Union Habitat as the organization opens its second Re-Store, a recycling center that raises money to build Habitat homes, on Jan. 28 in Cheraw, SC. The first Re-Store is located in Monroe at the intersection of Rocky River Road and Old Charlotte Highway.
Union Habitat has already approved families for Lots 10 and 11 in Gulf Bay Estates and will begin work on those houses in February. A group of college students is coming down to help with construction in March as part of the Collegiate Challenge, a program where the students spend their spring break working on Habitat projects. “It’s going to be humming here, come March, again,” Mike Reece, executive director of Union Habitat, said.
But for the Barkers and the Dassaros, the next few months will be a time of settling in and celebrating, as their dream has finally become a reality.
“I want to thank God,” Barker said. “He has seen me through these past years, which have been the toughest years of my life. I’m so thankful for my home.”