Habitat For Humanity Turns Focus To Restoring Old Buildings | Community Spirit
Instead of starting from scratch, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County will focus on building on foundations that have already been laid.
Habitat will continue working to create affordable, permanent housing for families, but as the community's needs change, so will the way the organization works.
The final two homes in the Twin Oaks neighborhood on Madison’s East Side are now under construction.
"This is our 51st and 52nd home in this community and the last two we're going to be building here," said Perry Ecton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.
Five years and 52 homes later, the organization is wrapping up in the Twin Oaks neighborhood.
On Friday afternoon, Jenice Anderson got her first look at what will soon be her family's new home.
"We're progressing. It’s kind of a long haul, and to see we're starting already and I’ve met some of the neighbors ... It’s a blessing," said Anderson.
Habitat's philosophy will remain the same.
"It’s about home. It’s about building equity. It’s about building a place for stabilizing families," said Ecton.
How goals are reached will change.
"Our goal here is to finish this and then move back into the inner city," said Ecton.
Ecton said developers are no longer building new subdivisions.
The economy has shifted, creating new needs and new opportunities.
"Today, it's more concerning about what are you doing to save internal neighborhoods? How are you being an active participant in when to change the overall Madison approach to housing? So we're doing more infill housing, more rehab, bank foreclosures, and converting those to ownership," said Ecton.
Already, a four-unit apartment building has been converted to a duplex on Madison’s West Side and the building next door is in line for a similar project.
"It’s a challenge. It’s more of a challenge I think ... You have to change things, remove things that are already there and change it into something else," said volunteer Herman Brandenburg.
Volunteers said, regardless where they're building, they know they're helping families help themselves.
"That's the rewarding part. That's our pay. We've had it, now I guess 52 times in this area. So it's been a good place to work," said volunteer Marzo Bliss.
Habitat officials said they have purchased condos in the Carling Drive area of the Allied Drive neighborhood to create a presence there and will continue redeveloping existing lots in other parts of the city.