Military Veteran Right At Home With Habitat For Humanity's Help
An urban neighborhood is gaining vibrancy as Habitat for Humanity of Westchester and its partners build a row of comfortable, affordable housing.
Habitat, which builds housing worldwide, is putting up a two-story, two-family house at 56 Purser Place in the southwest section of Yonkers. The organization has already built a pair of duplexes on the street and is getting help on its latest house from Con Edison volunteers.
One of the units in the latest house will go to Ivan Arroyo, a member of the Army National Guard who spent 11 months in Afghanistan, said Jim Killoran, chief executive officer and executive director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Westchester affiliate.
“When he deployed to Afghanistan, I said to him ‘When you get back, apply for a Habitat home. We’ll have one for you,’” Killoran said. “This is a brand new home that we’re building from the ground up and he’s going to live in it with his family.
”Arroyo will live in the house with his wife and two children.
The house will have numerous energy-saving features, including high-performance insulation and solar panels, Killoran said.On a recent chilly Saturday morning, Con Edison employees swung hammers, guided power saws and made careful measurements inside the house’s completed shell. Others were outside in the rain working on siding. More than two dozen employees in all were helping.
Con Edison volunteers have contributed hundreds of hours of labor toward completion of the home. Killoran said it appears the Con Edison volunteers have gotten what he calls Habititus, or a strong liking for helping Habitat do its good works.
Habitat houses are sold to families at no profit and financed with no-interest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that Habitat uses to build more houses. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, each homeowner family helps with the construction.
The work on Purser Place is part of Habitat’s campaign to transform 30 Westchester neighborhoods by its 30th anniversary in 2018.
Con Edison has also provided Habitat with a $5,000 grant for the creation of two community gardens in Yonkers. One will be at Vineyard and Myrtle streets and one at Vineyard and High streets. The gardens will be in a neighborhood Habitat has targeted for revitalization.
Habitat plans to use the gardens to provide young people with an opportunity to learn about science and the environment. The gardens will produce vegetables that Habitat will provide to the local community at low cost.
Con Edison works with community partners to support education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Con Edison supports hundreds of nonprofit organizations in New York City and Westchester County to strengthen neighborhoods, sustain communities and improve lives. These philanthropic efforts support the arts, environment, and important educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Many of Con Edison’s 14,000 employees share a personal commitment to the region’s vitality through their own volunteer efforts and also choose to support education by utilizing the company’s matching gifts program.
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