Following a groundbreaking at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, Ashe Habitat for Humanity has begun construction on its second house.
Located in the Buffalo Meadows subdivision outside West Jefferson, the nonprofit will construct the new house next to the first home they constructed, where Maureen Mazur and her daughter Rachel Warren reside.
“Habitat for Humanity is an inclusive organization, but we are a Christian ministry,” said Wayne Johnson, vice president for Ashe County Habitat for Humanity. “Our objective is to try to eliminate substandard and poverty housing worldwide.”
Johnson said they provide that by giving owners of the houses they build “not a hand-out, but a hand-up.”
The new home under construction will house Kathryn Greene and her grandchildren Richard and Victoria Osborne. In order to move in the house, Greene and her grandchildren will have to volunteer 200 labor hours of “sweat equity” to Ashe Habitat.
“I just appreciate the community’s efforts and the support for the Habitat for Humanity housing for our family,” Greene said.
Gerry Tygielski, chairperson for the construction and site selection committee, during the groundbreaking discussed Habitat’s plans for the house design.
“We’re getting ready to start on our second home and it is so exciting,” he said. “We are doing some things here that are not being done across the state.”
Tygielski said Ashe Habitat is one of the state’s leaders in creating green, eco-friendly, high efficiency homes for its residents. Also, Tygielski said for the first completed home, Ashe Habitat had over 250 volunteers for labor and the support of 25 local companies to complete the home.
“The green building of the house is pretty exciting, because we’re starting off with a construction technique called insulated concrete forms,” he said.
The concrete, Tyglieski said, is made to last thousands of years and will reduce heating costs on the home by approximately 60 percent. In addition, the house will have solar panels, so the house will generate its own electricity to cut down on costs.
Inside, the house will have a geothermal heating system and have a metal roof.
Johnson said he hopes construction for this new home will be done faster than the first home Ashe Habitat completed.
“We had a lot of volunteers, but it got to the point where a couple of times it was the ‘faithful four’ who would show up on Saturdays and work,” he said. “And there were other reasons that slowed the process of the house. This one, we want to bring out of the house much (faster), and one thing we’ll be doing is reaching out to the community.”
Habitat for Humanity in Ashe County was founded in October of 2008. While having constructed a house last year, the nonprofit also works to improve exteriors of homes through its “Brushes with Kindness” program. In addition, the nonprofit pays for the supplies through fundraisers, donations and holding ReStore sales.
Ashe Habitat uses donated materials, money and volunteer labor to help build the homes. The houses are paid with no-interest mortgages that are paid in monthly increments by the homeowner.
Approximately 25 people were in attendance for the groundbreaking.
For more information about Ashe Habitat for Humanity, visit http://www.ashehabitat.org/ or call (336) 846-2525.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.