A worthy family’s new home

On Wednesday, March 14 the first walls were raised on the Velasquez family’s new Mastic Beach home, built through Habitat for Humanity.

“This is a great day for the Velasquez family as they raised the walls of their soon-to-be-home,” said Legis. Rudy Sunderman. “They are now one step closer to their dream of homeownership.”

The wall-raising ceremony marks the first step in the construction of this new home. Employees and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk joined the Velasquez family along with high school volunteers to lend a hand in the first phase of construction. This home, located on Bayview Drive in Mastic Beach, will be one of the most state-of-the-art and energy-efficient homes ever built by Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. This home will be equipped with a geothermal heating system, solar panels and an alternative denitrification septic system, which will lower energy costs and decrease the home’s carbon footprint.

While Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk helps those with a need for affordable housing, there are specific criteria to qualify a family for these homes, as it is frequently stated at Habitat for Humanity ceremonies that these homes are a hand up and not a handout. A family must: show the ability to pay the mortgage, as well as all other financial obligations associated with homeownership; have a current and continuing source of income, meet credit requirements, and provide a down payment. Families are also required to volunteer up to 300 hours in the construction of their home and the construction of other Habitat for Humanity homes.

Construction of the home is estimated to take between eight to 15 months, depending upon multiple variables. When construction is complete and the home is move-in ready, Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk will organize another ceremony, where they will hand over the keys to the Velasquez family, officially making them homeowners.

“I look forward to the day when the house is complete and we can hand over the keys and welcome this family to our beautiful community,” Sunderman said.

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