Photos Courtesy of Google and Habitat for Humanity NYC
The Sea Service members worked on the site of a dilapidated home on 132nd Street just off the Van Wyck Expressway.
By Forum Staff
More than a dozen active duty members of the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard, in town for Fleet Week NYC 2019, helped Habitat for Humanity New York City on Thursday build a home for ownership for a low-income family in South Richmond Hill.
According to Habitat for Humanity, the Sea Service members worked on the site of a recently demolished and former dilapidated home on 132nd Street just off the Van Wyck Expressway. They were responsible for constructing the new, single-family home from the ground up, including establishing the initial framing of interior and exterior walls, and trussing of the roof. The work detail included heavy lifting, cutting and measuring, and power tools; by the end of the day, the Sea Service members turned an empty lot into the initial framework of a new, affordable home.
The South Queens residence is one of Habitat NYC’s portfolio of 23 vacant and dilapidated single-family homes in The World’s Borough and Brooklyn, all of which were purchased from the New York City Housing Authority. Many of these properties have fallen into severe disrepair and have a negative impact on the surrounding community. Habitat NYC is working to rehabilitate them into affordable, energy efficient homes for low-income families who are first-time homebuyers.
According to the non-profit housing developer, homeownership “is an important part of the housing continuum because it provides working families, and their communities, an avenue for stability and equity, while also serving as a bulwark against gentrification.” In the five boroughs, where the homeownership rate is half of the national average, there has been a steep drop in the number of homeowners, resulting in more than 124,000 New Yorkers, most of whom are from minority communities, into remaining in the increasingly unaffordable rental market.
Habitat homebuyers are of low to moderate income, with a stable employment record and decent credit history. Participants are chosen based on their need, ability to pay, and willingness to fulfill the “sweat equity” component: helping to build their future home or those of their Habitat neighbors.
The NYC chapter, which was founded in 1984 as an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, has served more than 700 families across the five boroughs through home construction and preservation. Habitat NYC noted that it also improves public spaces, parks, and community centers.
This is the seventh year that Habitat NYC has partnered with members of the Sea Services to build affordable homes during Fleet Week.