The Paterson Habitat for Humanity received a $375,000 grant to finance constructions of homes in the 1st and 4th Wards on Monday.
Funds are provided through the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program and sponsored by M&T Bank. Funds will go towards helping to finance the construction of 15 homes.
“We are thrilled to be able to assist in the funding of important affordable housing projects in Paterson,” said Alle Ries, regional Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) officer in New Jersey for M&T Bank. “In Paterson, where 29 percent of residents live below the poverty line, projects like these have the ability to create a lasting impact in the very communities where our customers work and live.”
The homes built by Habitat for Humanity have been changing entire blocks in some of the roughest sections of Paterson by promoting homeownership.
“All you really have to do is drive down one of our streets and see a block of houses that has homeowners as opposed to a block where there aren’t homeowners,” said Dave Juliana, chief financial and operations officer at the Paterson Habitat for Humanity.
Concentration of homeownership creates a sense of ownership to stabilize neighborhoods, he said.
Juliana said some of the 15 homes are already under construction and some are slated for construction. On average it takes $215,000 to build a home, excluding land acquisition and demolition costs, he said.
Low-income families are able to purchase the brand-new homes through a zero interest 30-year loan.
Paterson Habitat for Humanity has built 275 homes in the city’s 1st and 4th Wards, he said.
The nonprofit provides support services to new homeowners by preparing them for first-time homeownership, including providing instruction in home maintenance.
All its homeowners are also required to put in “sweat equity” or 250 hours of on-site construction work and or service in organization support roles.
Juliana said all of the 15 homes will be completed in 24-30 months.