An Old Town address, with not-for-profit’s help | ParkRecord.com

An Old Town address, with not-for-profit’s help

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

The Summit County chapter of Habitat for Humanity began construction this week on its first Park City residence, the Pechnik Project, two single family homes along Marsac Avenue.

The homes will be sold to families chosen by Habitat for Humanity. The family for the first house will be chosen in August.

"We give the houses to people who are part of the community, people like nurses or municipal employees" said Habitat for Humanity Summit County Executive Director Lisa Schneider.

Habitat doesn’t just want to provide a low-income family with a home, but work with them every step of the way to make sure they are the best homeowners they can be. The family will contribute sweat equity to the home according to Schneider, giving 400 volunteer hours during the construction of the house.

"We are with the families that move into the house for the long term," said Schneider. "We walk with them through this journey. Meeting with them about investing and giving them financial advice."

Habitat’s method has been proven successful not just through personal triumphs, but statistics as well. They have one of the lowest rate of foreclosure of any lender in the country according to Habitat for Humanity International.

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"If one of our families is struggling, we will sit down with them and come up with a plan that works. It’s not just about building and lending, we really look at homeownership in a holistic way," Schneider said.

The land for the Pechnik Project was donated by Park City Municipal Corp. and Habitat is estimating each 1,500-square-foot home will cost $225,000 to build. Schneider said they don’t have a completion date in mind yet because they don’t have all the resources that are needed.

Since 1995, Habitat has built 10 homes in Wasatch and Summit Counties. When not building homes, Habitat started two new programs to expand their positive impact in the community for those in need.

"We partnered with Recycle Utah to begin Habitat Restore," said Schneider. "People can donate building materials and household items to Recycle Utah and they will sell them and give the profits to Habitat for Humanity for our building projects. We can even use some of the donated items in the houses we build."

In August, Habitat will also begin their first A Brush with Kindness project, a program started by Habitat for Humanity International. The program enlists volunteers to do home-improvement projects homeowners would not be able to afford otherwise. The local Habitat for Humanity will begin by assisting an elderly man in Coalville who has hazardous trees in his yard that need to be removed.

"The partnerships Habitat for Humanity creates for projects mean everything," said Schneider. "Through these projects, we are bringing the community together and strengthening it."

Groups interested in partnering with Habitat for Humanity to assist with home building or community projects should contact the Park City office at (435)659-1400.

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