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Seneca Habitat going big in 2015

Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County has tweaked that old saying, “go big or go home.” This year, Habitat volunteers will “go big” so others can “go home.” Habitat Board President Menzo Case said the organization will be working on four different properties this season. “It’s nuts!” he agreed. “We’re going to need lots of volunteers and lots of money to make this happen.” Habitat volunteers are currently working on rehabbing a two-family home at 31 Miller Street that will be used to house families waiting to move into their own Habitat houses. Two families from presently living in substandard housing were approved to participate in this program.In addition to the Miller Street home, Habitat volunteers will be working to rehabilitate a home at 5 White Street in Seneca Falls where where a family of six are hoping to move.And in Waterloo, Habitat for Humanity has repossessed a home on Wycliffe Avenue after the family failed to live up to its mortgage payment agreement. That home also will need some slight work, Case said.And a few weeks ago, Habitat for Humanity closed on a property on Chestnut Street in Seneca Falls where a new home will be constructed for Mike and Leeanne Teufel and their two sons, ages 2 and 8.Last Saturday, with temperatures inside the Miller Street house at 12 degrees, Teufel was putting in his “sweat equity” by helping demo the home, tearing out lath and plaster. Teufel, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a prosthetic leg, said he has been in an out of a wheelchair for the past seven to eight years. An addictions counselor, Teufel said he is excited that his new home will be handicapped accessible.Case said he is aware that Habitat has taken on a daunting task, but he is confident that volunteers will come forward to meet the challenge. He said a fund raising campaign will begin in February to provide money to finance the materials. Homeowners will pay back the cost of their home in “sweat equity” – volunteer hours – and by repaying a zero-interest mortgage.Volunteers are needed at the Miller Street property beginning on Saturday January 24 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additional work days will be scheduled as possible and based on volunteers requesting to assist. . For more information about volunteering or making a donation, contact Habitat for Humanity at volunteer@habitatseneca.org.Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build homes or renovate existing homes to create decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. Mortgage payments received by the affiliate are used to build more homes.Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County, NY, is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people.

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