Family receives habitat

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Online Poster

By Kaitlin Sweeney

The Holloway family is set to move into their new home by the end of the week, thanks to the University student chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Although principal construction ended April 23rd with a dedication ceremony hosted by Habitat for Humanity for the family, there are still incidental changes to be made. The carpeting arrived on Monday and the refrigerator and stove are set to be delivered some time this week. Landscaping will be done in the next few weeks by Habitat volunteers.

Sandra Holloway said she and her two daughters are planning on moving in on Saturday.

“I can’t wait,” said Holloway, an employee of the University library. “I know how I’m going to decorate it. My furniture is on layaway.”

Holloway got involved with Habitat shortly after applying for her own home through the organization. She originally started to get to know the organization and build up sweat equity hours – volunteer time that applicants must complete to qualify for a home – and kept volunteering because she enjoyed the process.

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By the time of the groundbreaking of her home, Holloway had completed all of her necessary hours through working on other homes and volunteering at the homework store – the local Habitat store that re-sells home supplies.

The only major setback that Habitat faced was the late start on construction. Most houses begin construction in the summer, with student members beginning work on the first weekend after school begins. But construction on the Holloway house only began in the last weekend of October, nearly a month after groundbreaking.

The delay occurred because originally the student chapter was set to work on a house for another family. But the family wanted to live in Urbana, and there were no lots available for construction in Urbana at that time – delaying the build until May. The student chapter decided to continue with their plans to build a home, so they turned to the Holloways, whose house had yet to be built because the parent chapter in Champaign could not raise enough money in time.

“By the time we got involved, no construction or planning had begun,” said Jeff Moder, senior in LAS. “There had only been some fundraising and publicity.”

The initial project’s steering committee – which oversees all aspects of the build – took over the planning of the Holloway home with the understanding that it will oversee the construction in May, as well.

The construction of two homes in one school year is unusual for the student chapter of Habitat, which typically averages a house every two years. In the downtime between builds, Habitat fundraises for upcoming construction.

“It takes us a while to build up enough money to build a home as they cost $66,000 per home,” said Mary Pearson, senior in LAS and president of Habitat. “We average about $20,000 a year. The Champaign parent chapter can build about 5 houses a year.”

Holloway met the student volunteers soon after groundbreaking and worked closely with Moder, the planning coordinator; Lindsey Schweinberg, senior in FAA and project forewoman; Helen Miller, senior in FAA and the personnel coordinator; and Laura Mottl, the family nurturer – the person who is the family’s main contact and helps them choose flooring, appliances, and other home d‚cor.

“The late start date meant that we had to work much faster to get the house enclosed by winter,” Mottl, junior in LAS, said. “Surprisingly we got the work done by that time, thanks to pre-cut frames donated by a local business.”

“I coordinated Sandra’s volunteering hours at the house and we’d go shopping,” Mottl said. “We talk on a weekly basis and we’ll continue to do so until everything about the house is completed.”

Holloway said that, although her home has already been built, she will continue to work as a member of the organization.

“I found that it was fun and you get to meet a lot of people,” Holloway said, “I’m going to keep doing it. They’re not getting rid of me that easily.”