Photo/Jason Asteros, Habitat for Humanity International
The projects will include construction of ramps and other improvements to support aging in place.
In response to the increased need for healthy and affordable homes, Fauquier Habitat for Humanity has committed to raising $100,000 for repair programs to ensure families, seniors and veterans can remain safely in their homes.
“During the pandemic, we’ve all learned that having a safe home is the key to staying healthy,” Fauquier Habitat CEO Darryl Neher said. “The homeowners we serve through our home repair programs are in need of repairs that will make their home healthier and safer – but many need additional assistance in paying for the necessary repairs.
“Leaky roofs, substandard plumbing, damaged flooring, dated and exposed wiring, and old windows contribute to an environment where mold, allergens, pest infestations, and other safety hazards exacerbate asthma, cause injuries, and result in untenable living situations.”
Fauquier Habitat performs critical home repairs – such as fixing holes in roofs or floors, replacing broken heating systems or making structural repairs to a house – as well as home preservation projects that include painting siding or caulking windows and doors.
In addition to home repair and home preservation programs, Fauquier Habitat’s aging in place program helps seniors remain in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Many seniors may experience difficulty entering or exiting their homes or may have trouble taking care of personal hygiene. In those cases, Fauquier Habitat can install a ramp to the front door and grab bars and walk in showers in the bathroom to mitigate fall risks.
Similar to Fauquier Habitat’s homeownership program, households participating in one of the home repair programs must meet three criteria: a willingness to partner, the ability to pay, and a need for repairs that increase the safety or longevity of the home.
Individuals and families partner with Fauquier Habitat by providing sweat equity on their home repair projects, as they are able. They also repay a zero-interest loan for the partial cost of the repair, designated by a sliding scale based on household income.
“The sliding scale repayment plans ensure that families can afford the repairs their homes receive while also enabling a portion of the original investment to cycle back into a revolving fund to help additional families receive repairs,” Mr. Neher said. “Every dollar put into our home repair programs will continue to be leveraged for additional repairs as families begin to repay their zero-interest loan. Our donors can be confident that their investment will have community-wide impact.”
Additionally, home repairs play an essential role in preserving the stock of affordable homes in Fauquier and Rappahannock counties. With 1 in 8 families in Virginia spending half or more of their income on housing, the need for affordable homes is ever-increasing. By completing home repairs on owner-occupied homes, families can safely remain in their homes instead of moving into new ones, which helps ensure the affordable homes Fauquier Habitat builds remain available for low-income households transitioning into homeownership from the rental market.
“We are excited to partner with our supporters, our community and local businesses to reach our goal of raising $100,000 for our home repair programs. We are kicking off our Reviving Home fundraiser through Give Local Piedmont, a local giving day run by the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation,” said Taylor Rivera-Stone, Fauquier Habitat’s associate director of engagement and development.
Early giving already has started for Give Local Piedmont, which culminates May 4.