Over the past 30 years, Habitat Chesapeake has built over 730 homes in locations throughout Central Maryland – Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties and Baltimore City. These homes are designed to be affordable to build, purchase, own and operate as well as environmentally friendly.
Habitat Chesapeake aims to improve the lives of partner families, as well as revitalizing the communities in which we build.
There are many facets to making high quality Habitat Chesapeake homes affordable for our partner families. Below are the primary ways in which costs are kept to a minimum.
Property purchase is typically one of the most variable and occasionally most costly aspects of our homebuilding and buying process. To keep mortgage costs low, Habitat Chesapeake must purchase inexpensive land or acquire property through in-kind donations. Through our partnership with Baltimore City and their Vacants to Value program, Habitat Chesapeake is able to purchase vacant and dilapidated homes and property in the City for extremely discounted prices.
In Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties, property costs are typically much higher, making it difficult to keep mortgages low for partner families. To help alleviate this problem and keep mortgages affordable, Habitat Chesapeake works to acquire land through in-kind contributions, including planned giving and the donation of bank-owned properties.
To keep the cost of building these durable and energy-efficient homes as low as possible, Habitat Chesapeake relies on volunteers - AmeriCorps members, Red Hats, individuals and partner families - to assist the construction staff and subcontractors on the build sites. We also partner with a number of organizations in order to purchase quality construction materials at discounted rates.
Once construction is completed and homebuyers have moved into their homes, it is important that home operation and maintenance costs - heating and cooling, electric and plumbing - remain affordable. To keep these bills low, each home is built with energy efficient materials and standards in mind. This improved functionality helps lower monthly bills and also reduces the carbon footprint of each Habitat Chesapeake home. Learn more about Habitat Chesapeake's efforts to build eco-friendly homes.
As Habitat Chesapeake has expanded over the years, we have grown from rehabilitating or building one individual house at a time to focusing on revitalizing entire neighborhoods. With so many Central Maryland homes in need of repair, especially within Baltimore City, Habitat Chesapeake now rehabilitates houses as part of our greater effort to transform entire communities. Rehabbing homes throughout a neighborhood helps to build strong community relations between all neighbors. Habitat Chesapeake coaches and encourages homebuyers to become a vital part of their community through participation in community associations and other activities.
To promote this community-based approach, Habitat Chesapeake is participating in the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative to provide home repair services to current homeowners, as well as helping with general neighborhood improvements.