On Wednesday March 14th, Legislator Sunderman joined with Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk and Councilman Dan Panico to celebrate with the Velasquez family as the first walls were raised on their new home in Mastic Beach. “This is a great day for the Velasquez family as they raised the walls of their soon to be home.” Said Legislator Sunderman “They are now one step closer to their dream of homeownership”.
The wall raising ceremony marks the first step in the construction of this new home. Employees and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk joined the Velasquez family along with high school volunteers to lend a hand in this first phase of construction. This home, located on Bayview Drive in Mastic Beach will be one of the most state of the art and energy efficient homes ever built by Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. This home will be equipped with a geothermal heating system, solar panels, and an alternative denitrification septic system, which will lower energy costs and decrease the homes carbon footprint.
While Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk helps those with a need for affordable housing, there are specific criteria to qualify a family for these homes, as it is frequently stated at Habitat for Humanity ceremonies these homes are a hand up and not a handout. A family must show the ability to pay the mortgage, as well as all other financial obligations associated with homeownership; as part of this, a family must have a current and continuing source of income, must meet credit requirements, and provide a down payment. Families are also required to volunteer up to 300 hours in the construction of their home and the construction of other Habitat for Humanity homes.
Construction of the home is estimated to take between 8 to 15 months depending upon multiple variables. When construction is complete and the home is move in ready, Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk will organize another ceremony where they will officially hand over the keys to the Velasquez family and they will officially be homeowners. “I look forward to the day when the house is complete and we can hand over the keys and welcome this family to our beautiful community.” said Sunderman.