Every Donation Helps a Family Help Themselves
When was the last time you KNEW, deep down, that you helped someone in a profound way?
When you donate to Rockbridge Area Habitat, you can be assured that you do.
Some of the homeowners say:
It was a long journey, but it feels so good to know this home is ours. -- Brenda G.
Every time I turn the key in my door I am overjoyed and I think how blessed I am to have a place to call home. -- Chasity D.
I know I will never take heat, safety, and the simple pleasure of just watching the snow fall from a warm house for granted! -- Jane Ann W.
Won't you be part of the effort to improve the lives of low-income local families with a gift of $50 or more ? Hit the donate button at the top of the page to be part of creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Feel that deep-down satisfaction and know, for sure, that your support makes a meaningful difference.
Moore house with walls
RCHS student Gabe Shaner spreads primer on the ceiling of Jeannie Moore's Habitat house. Shaner worked on the high school house through the building trades program. In the rest of the house, the "Tuesday Crew" of volunteers is "cutting in" the paint in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Outside, more volunteers are installing siding. Watch for more about the Moore family in the future.
Experts Discuss Housing Market in Virginia
Posted by WVIR Channel 29, Charlottesville: Apr 18, 2017 5:27 PM EDTUpdated: Apr 18, 2017 5:36 PM EDT
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -
The housing market in Virginia is seeing some upward trends, but experts still have their concerns.
A panel of lawmakers in Richmond heard an update on the economic conditions of the market.
While many aspects of the housing market are looking up, there are some sluggish indicators, like lagging construction projects.
"We went from the bottom of the recession up til at least a little better and hopefully you're going to give us better news today," said Delegate Daniel Marshall, R-14th District.
The Virginia Housing Commission received a briefing Tuesday from a regional economist with the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank. Economist Sonya Waddell shared that on the bright side, house prices and home sales continue to improve.
"Residential real estate sales continue to indicate a year of market strength," said Sonya Ravindranath Waddell, Regional Economist for Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
But construction hasn't bounced back to levels seen since the 1990s. Years ago economists believed that the demand dipped, and now they say this issue is on the supply side, and the ability to find skilled workers.
"Finding labor to do jobs: subcontractors, particularly skilled, so electricians, carpenters, welders and then also finding build-able lots," said Waddell.
According to Waddell, foreclosure rates in Virginia have dropped to normal levels, which was of course a huge concern during the last recession. Some delinquency rates for mortgages though are slightly elevated.
Tatumn Harlow, RCHS senior, watches the house he helped build for Rockbridge Area Habitat as it is moved from its temporary foundation to the flatbed trailer that will move it to Greenhouse Village.
RCHS students who built a house for RAHfH sign the building with well-wishes for the Hindenberger family.
Students watch as the second half of the house they built for a local Habitat family is placed beside its mate on the permanent foundation.
The Rockbridge County High School Habitat House graduated to its permanent foundation April 5, 2017. Students built the house over an 18 month period and their pride in the accomplishment was palpable.
“These houses are very nice,” said Tatumn Harlow, RCHS senior. Harlow had no interest in building trades until he worked on the Habitat house. Now he says he’s considering two job offers in masonry or electric work.
“This is the first house I worked on. Mr. Bennett made it fun. I took a lot away from it,” he said.
The house, designated for the Hindenberger family, was built in two parts. On Wednesday, a crane lifted each side from the temporary site on the High School campus onto a flatbed trailer. Then each side was slowly moved to Vallance Way, essentially around the block and up the hill in Greenhouse Village. There, finishing touches will be completed by Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity volunteers. They’ll secure the two sides, complete the roof and siding, build porches and more.
RAHfH partners with local families to build decent and affordable housing in Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista. Families purchase the new homes with a low-interest loan after putting in 200-plus hours of sweat equity. The High School house is number 68 for Habitat.
To learn more about the Hindenberger family, check out our stories page.
For information on becoming a partner family or volunteering on a build, call 540-463-3770.
RCHS Habitat house near completion
Kurt Bennett, building trades teacher at Rockbridge County High School, says one of the hardest things to teach is pride, but his own pride explodes when he talks about his students and what they accomplish each year.
This school year (2016-17) the students have built a three-bedroom, two bath home for the Hindenberger family. The house is scheduled to be moved from the high school grounds to the building site the first week in April. Watch this site and like us on Facebook for updates!
This house is sponsored by Lee Hi Companies.
Kurt Bennett shows what students will be completing before this RCHS/Habitat house is moved to its permanent site in Greenhouse Village.
Kurt Bennett describes the variety of careers his students have followed after taking part in the building trades program at RCHS. They include construction, surveying, architecture, plumbing, HVAC and more.
Great time, great food, great gain at Chili Cook-off
The 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off was really well attended and the Spencer Home Center showroom was full of smiling faces. The room smelled of comforting chili and grilled cheese (thanks to TNT's Good To Go in Buena Vista). Laughter and conversation mixed with the rip-roaring tunes from Lee Martin and the Jive Cowboys. The event to benefit Habitat, grossed $6,300 toward the building and critical repair programs. Thank you to everyone who volunteered before, during and after the event, the sponsors and partners who put faith into action to help Habitat provide safe, affordable housing to local families.
Third place (an hour of IT service from Your IT Department) went to Kendal at Lexington; second place (two tickets to Lime Kiln Theater and a tailgate food basket) to TNT's Good to Go; and first place ($300 worth of shrubs and trees from Mr. Cochran Lyle) to Southern Inn. People's choice ($100 Sheetz gift card) also went to Kendal at Lexington.
Can you find yourself in the photos?
The Poetry of Home
Sunshine and warm-ish weather were the backdrop of an early evening Poetry Reading at Lexington Presbyterian Church to benefit RAHfH Thursday. Fourteen local poets and writers participated, most professors from Washington and Lee University. The event filled Brady Chapel with all kinds of energy, musical words and visions of home. Seth Michaelson organized the event and his two sons opened the evening with their favorites from children's poet, Shel Silverstein. Our Thanks to all who took part and donated a total of $120. The proceeds will go to the building and critical repair programs.
(from left) W&L student Joelle reads about trying to find home as an immigrant; W&L professor Lesley Wheeler introduced each of the writers; and Gordon Ball reads from some memories of a time away from home in Europe.
Greenhouse Village Public Meeting on March 20
Rockbridge County will hold a public meeting on March 20, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in the Meeting Room of the County Administration Building, 150 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450 to solicit public input on the proposed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proposal to be submitted to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for the Greenhouse Village Housing Project. Residents of the project area are encouraged to attend. The Greenhouse Village Housing Project proposal includes the construction of 8 affordable, single family units and the associated water, sewer, and transportation infrastructure to serve them.
Contents of the draft CDBG proposal will be presented for comment along with information on projected beneficiaries, including the number of low- and moderate-income residents to benefit from the proposed project, and plans to minimize displacement. Citizens will also be given the opportunity to comment on Rockbridge County’s past use of CDBG funds. For additional information, or to obtain a fact sheet on the proposed project contact the County’s Office of Community Development.
Comments and grievances can be submitted in writing to Rockbridge County Office of Community Development at 150 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450 or by phone at (540) 464-9662 until (March 24th, 2017).
If you plan to attend and have any special needs requirements, please call the number listed above and reasonable accommodation will be made.
Up and Under
The foundation's UP (left) and ready for the Rockbridge County High School house to be placed in April.
The Moore family house is UNDER roof and whether the snow falls this week, or rain pelts the earth with the onset of spring, construction will continue. (Note the safety fencing.)
We are still raising funds for both of these houses and encourage you to hit that donate button above!
Greenhouse Village Public Hearing Set for March 13
Rockbridge County will hold a public meeting on Monday, March 13, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the County Administration Building, 150 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450, to solicit public input on local community development and housing needs in relation to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the Greenhouse Village Housing Project, Phase II.
Information on the amount of funding available, the requirements on benefit to low- and moderate income persons, eligible activities, and plans to minimize displacement and provide displacement assistance as necessary will be available. Citizens will also be given the opportunity to comment on Rockbridge County’s past use of CDBG funds. All interested citizens are urged to attend. For additional information, contact the County’s Office of Community Development.
Comments and grievances can be submitted in writing to Rockbridge County Office of Community Development at 150 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450 or by phone at (540) 464-9662 (until March 24th, 2017).
If you plan to attend and have any special needs requirements, please call the number listed above and reasonable accommodation will be made.
Habitat always shoots for the moon and lands safely on the roof!
The house for the Moore family has outer walls and will soon have a roof. The sun shone clearly and a chill was dissipating Tuesday morning while volunteers set to work screwing roof trusses in place. Peter Van Dijk, (left) made quick work of a support piece keeping two trusses level after McKee Dunlap (right) guided one into place. Todd Phillips, Valley Group in Fishersville, operated the crane.
You can help turn these studs and plywood into a home. Call Kelly at 540-463-3770 to volunteer.
Need a place to snuggle?
Catch a snuggle with your honey, or March Madness with friends with a new-to-you couch from Habitat's ReStore in Lexington. We have white faux leather, cushy green or tan sofas and lots more.
Place that comfy couch under some beautiful artwork. Artist renderings and commercial prints are all available.
And that art might inspire some great writing or blogging at a terrific new-to-you computer table. Modern tinted glass design looks attractive just about anywhere.
Check out the ReStores page for directions.
Board Changes Officers
At the February 21 meeting Habitat board members thanked outgoing chairman Jim Naylor who completed two years in the position. He was voted in as board secretary through the end of his term in September. Skip Perry was elected to be board chair.
Finishing Touches at Home in Greenhouse Village
Kathy Hostetter likes to make others smile at Golden Living Center where she works as a CNA. Then it was her turn to smile as she walked through the rooms in what will soon become her new home, so different from the cinder block apartment she's lived in for 22 years. Without insulation, the apartment stayed cold in the winter and hot in the summer. On a limited income, she had no options to move until she applied for a Habitat home.
Her favorite spot in the new house is the laundry area. At 59, she says she's ready to stop hauling clothes to the laundromat. On this day, Hostetter is putting final touches on the interior doors. The work is part of the 200 hours of sweat equity Habitat partner families put into building the houses. This, along with a low-interest mortgage, keeps the house affordable.
"I waited a long time for a home of my own," she said. "It's like a dream come true."
Homeowner classes underway
As part of Habitat's giving “a hand up, not a hand out" philosophy, partner families take part in a nine-week financial course. This spring three partner families and two community members are participating.
Each class has two parts. Part one presents specific information about home ownership such as maintenance and safety, living wills, insurance, mortgages, and personal finance. It is taught by Jane Ann Wells, VHDA-Certified Trainer with special presentations by Heather Marion, master gardener; Don Ellis, retired attorney; Cristin Sprenger, accredited financial counselor; and Jade Knick, Farm Bureau Insurance Agency.
Part two offers information based on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Ramsey’s program outlines his popular financial strategies for getting out of debt, living within one’s means and saving for emergencies and retirement. Jason O’Mahony, SunTrust Bank, leads this section of the course which is open to the public.
The next homeowner education program will take place in the fall. For more information on these and other Habitat programs and volunteer opportunities, call 540-463-3770.
Before starting the day's bridge games, Ron Patrick with the Bridge Club of Lexington, presents a contribution of $2,000 from the Club's members to Lynn Leech, executive director. We are very grateful for this generous donation will be used to support the building and critical repair programs.
Bridge Club Donation Feb. 6, 2017
Masons contribution Feb. 2017
Mountain City Lodge No. 67 hosted a presentation by Lynn Leech, executive director, at its February 6 meeting. The members then made a $200 donation to Habitat's building and critical repair programs. Habitat greatly appreciates this contribution