Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and the Baltimore Ravens unveiled Wednesday the completion of three brand new rowhomes in the community near M&T Bank Stadium. The home building process was funded by the Ravens Foundation, which continually works to help make Baltimore a better community.
In a combined effort, the construction of these rowhomes took place over the last 11 months in Baltimore's Washington Village neighborhood. Affectionately known as "Pigtown," the community is located on the west side of Russell Street near M&T Bank Stadium. Pigtown is an area in need of great assistance, with approximately one-third of its residents living below the poverty line and with nearly one in eight homes abandoned or in need of significant repair.
Habitat Chesapeake has been a positive force in the Pigtown neighborhood, renovating 20 homes near the project site over the past year. The rehabilitation project's most recent phase involved the transformation of a vacant lot at 1200 Ward Street into 18 new rowhomes.
"It has been an honor partnering with so many dedicated people throughout this project," Ravens president Dick Cass stated. "This is important not just for the Ravens and Habitat for Humanity, but for the entire city of Baltimore. It is exciting to see everyone join together and help our community build for the future."
"Community partnerships like this make it possible for Habitat Chesapeake to build decent, affordable homes for our family partners," Habitat Chesapeake CEO Mike Poskosaid. "The homeowners purchasing these homes have each volunteered 250 sweat equity hours, including a 50-hour Homebuyer Academy course, to ensure successful homeownership. We are deeply grateful to the Ravens Foundation for making their dream of homeownership possible in our community."
In addition to the Ravens' funding of three rowhomes, many front office members, players and coaches – as well as employees from key business partners M&T Bank and Giant – took part in three separate on-site building days (May 17, June 6 and Sept. 24 of 2013). Eight Ravens players, including LS Morgan Cox, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Torrey Smith, QB Tyrod Taylor, K Justin Tuckerand DT Brandon Williams, volunteered their free time to lend a helping hand in the construction.
Regina Sykes, Debessa Layew and Roxanna Key were selected as the recipients of the new homes. In order to be considered for Habitat for Humanity housing, applicants pushed through a rigorous eligibility process to meet the following criteria: the ability to pay a monthly mortgage; a need for decent housing; and a willingness to partner in the form of "sweat equity," in which applicants become actively involved in the building process through volunteer hours.
About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake:
*As a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake works in partnership with families in need of housing to build simple, decent and affordable homes. Since 1982, this non-profit organization, with the help of citizens that volunteer, has completed more than 295 homes and has housed more than 900 family members, half of which are children.
*Houses are sold to qualified homebuyers at no profit through no-interest mortgage loans and homebuyers must first meet the requirements of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake's program. Homebuyers work alongside thousands of volunteers to complete homes in several Baltimore City and county communities as well as communities in Anne Arundel County and Howard County and throughout the surrounding Chesapeake Bay area.
About The Ravens Foundation:
*The Ravens Foundation is committed to improving, encouraging and enabling the healthy development of youth in the Baltimore area, as well as other parts of the state of Maryland. The foundation focuses on programs that help youth, and in some cases their families, with various needs, including housing, hunger, education, athletics and mentoring.