Current, Completed, & Future Projects
Our current cluster build on Tulpehocken Street follows the same concept of newly renovated homes that protect the architectural integrity of their surrounding area. These three houses are set to be completed by the end of 2018. Several families currently participating in our program are working towards owning these homes by completing 300 hours of sweat equity with 75 hours of economic literacy education. These homes are located in an area ripe for revitalization…just down the street from Olivets Boys & Girls Club, blocks from Northwest Elementary School, and less than a mile from the site of our future Buttonwood Gateway project.
Some of our recently completed projects in Berks County
140 Oley Street
140 Oley Street
Habitat for Humanity of Berks County celebrated the accomplishments of its partner family — Roberto De La Paz, Tania Rosero and their three daughters Raquel, Carmen and Genesis— at a dedication of their new home, located on Oley Street, on Saturday August 5, 2017.
This stunning Victorian style home was completed in collaboration with the Reading Housing authority which provided up-front construction costs for the project.
The family contributed more than 300 hours of “sweat equity” alongside Habitat volunteers to build their new place to call home. The De La Paz-Rosero family purchased the house from Habitat and repays a no-profit mortgage over a period of 30 years, demonstrating Habitat’s vision to give families a “hand up” rather than a “hand out”.
4th & Elm Cluster Build
4th & Elm
When property is available, renovation and rehabilitation provide an opportunity to dramatically transform a block or neighborhood while also providing a high-quality home to a family in need of affordable housing.
We cluster our new builds within focus neighborhoods to maximize impacts and, in recent years, have built primarily attached row homes that fit within the architectural history of their surroundings.
Our first cluster build project at Fourth and Elm Street was a huge success and we were able to provide newly renovated homes to three hardworking families.
Buttonwood Gateway Project
Buttonwood Gateway Project
Why this Project is Important
Habitat for Humanity of Berks County utilizes resources and hard work to provide safe and affordable housing to moderate-income families. Research has proven that children need a safe home in order to perform better at school. A safe, decent, affordable place to live can make a real difference in the life of a family. According to research, children of homeowners are more likely to finish high school (and twice as likely to graduate from college), and they are 59 percent more likely to become homeowners themselves, starting an upward spiral. By properly educating the youth of the world, they are enabled with the ability to impact society at a higher level. The need for housing in Berks County is at an all-time high, with close to 50,000 households facing problems such as overcrowded homes, inadequate physical necessities (such as running water), and dedicating a large portion of their income on mortgages and associated costs. These factors cause house payments to deplete most of the household income.
Habitat for Humanity homes are sold with no profit received and are built through volunteer labor and donated resources and funds. Homeowners must provide a down payment and make payments on their home; it is not a charity program. Along with the prospective homeowner’s hard work (also known as “sweat equity”), he or she is required to pay back the loan with a 3.5% interest, therefore providing a sense of accomplishment.
History of our New Venture
Our friend, the late Albert Boscov, had a vision of making home ownership opportunities available to a greater number of families seeking to settle in this community. His foundation, Our City Reading (OCR), laid the groundwork for rehabilitating hundreds of properties in the city of Reading. It provided a means to transform abandoned and/or distressed buildings into affordable houses for families.
Habitat for Humanity of Berks County (HFHBC) has extended the kinship we had with Mr. Boscov to his foundation.
OCR mirrors Habitat’s purpose and mission to ensure everyone has the chance for a decent place to live. Mr. Boscov’s foundation has gifted HFHBC the properties that will allow us to begin work on the Buttonwood-Gateway Project. We are excited and honored to take on this challenge.
The Buttonwood-Gateway Project site presents a unique opportunity for re-investment into an urban area that has – for too long – been in decline and disrepair.
Habitat is positioned to be part of a unified efforts that encompasses private development, city government and Habitat’s unique program for home ownership.
The Buttonwood-Gateway Project is located at one of three main access points into the city of Reading.
Here, there is high traffic volume and visibility. This site and our project will affirm that areas once thought to be too run down can rise up and once again be healthy, productive neighborhoods.
Home ownership is an essential element to creating clean and safer neighborhoods in which people can live and thrive.
Habitat’s requirements of 300 hours of “sweat equity” and financial education make us a one-of-a-kind housing agency for families seeking to become Habitat Home Buyers.
- Habitat for Humanity creates community building by bringing neighborhoods together to decrease substandard housing.
- Habitat for Humanity wants all individuals to have a chance at affordable housing.
- The importance of homeownership is the main value that Habitat strives to instill into the community.
- By having families own their own homes, they are granted a sense of self-sufficiency.
- Families build their homes using sweat equity by encouraging them to put time, sweat, and effort into building their new home.
- Homeowners and community members have the opportunity to instill volunteerism in their communities by building with Habitat for Humanity.
Join the movement to build homes for our community and future! For more information, please contact:
Tim Daley, Executive Director
Mike Rodino, Director of Construction
Molly McCullough Murrill, Director of Development & Marketing
To print out a one-page document describing this project,