Construction on Habitat homes begins

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Twelve houses soon will be built in Dearborn for Wayne County families in need.

Habitat for Humanity representatives held a meeting at the Esper Branch Library on April 9 to discuss the new houses they plan to build on Neckel and Hartwell. They were joined by representatives from the city of Dearborn and Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in a panel that answered questions about the project.

The houses are being built as part of a project that hopes to revitalize Dearborn neighborhoods through the new home construction, and preference for the sale of the houses will be given to working Wayne County families that include veterans and victims of domestic abuse, though the applications are open to everyone.

The first house will be built on Neckel between Gould and Diversey, and construction is expected to begin April 16. Habitat has already filed for permits to begin excavating the basement there and plans to start construction immediately after they are approved. Five more houses will then be built on Neckel before crews move to Hartwell to begin construction on six new houses there.

Detroit Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager Dan Garan said the construction for each house takes usually between 90 and 110 days and that all 12 houses should be finished in about a year. Crews will begin work on the second house roughly three weeks after the first is started and will begin another house every three weeks after that.

The houses will be ranch style, which is unique to the area, and are being built to meet with the city ordinances in place for new houses. They will have four bedrooms, three-quarter bathrooms in the basement and two-car garages. They also will be built to be energy efficient.

“The city is very enthusiastic about building new homes,” Economic and Community Development Department Director Barry Murray said. “We’re introducing a housing type that we haven’t had much of, but that we think might be of interest to people in the future.”

The houses are being built on 60-foot lots that the city either was able to obtain from their owners or already owned.

“We’ve gone into our inventory of lots to see how many 60-foot lots we could put together among the 30-foot lots that are generally in these neighborhoods,” Murray said. “So we’ve combined two in each case to come up with the 60-foot lot which is what we need to be able to build that home.”

Habitat also stated that they will begin visiting the neighborhoods where the houses will be built soon to talk with current residents about how the construction process may affect them.

Residents who attended the meeting were shown maps of the house locations, construction plans for the houses, and a drawing of what a completed house will look like.

Mary Krupka, who lives on Neckel near the construction of the houses, attended the meeting and said she was happy to see the new houses being built.

“They’re lovely houses,” Krupka said. “I’m looking forward to volunteering and meeting my new neighbors.”

The project also is assisted in funding by federal programs the city is working through. The first is the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is helping fund the houses on Neckel, and the second is the HOME Program, which is helping fund the houses on Hartwell.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)

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