Community

South End owner to take possession of latest Habitat house

The 24th house built by Habitat for Humanity of Island County will be turned over to its new owner today.

Dede Strawn and two of her three children, who have been living in Langley, will take possession of the new three-bedroom, one-bath, green-constructed home in Teronda West south of Coupeville, said Annee Imle, resource development manager for the local Habitat group.

A dedication ceremony will be at 4 p.m. at the house.

Money for the project came from the fundraising efforts of 11 Island County churches and from a state Housing Trust Fund grant specifying green construction. The churches raised nearly $30,000 for the project as part of an “Apostle build” program, Imle said.

Contributing groups were St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Oak Harbor, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Coupeville, St. Stephen Episcopal Church in Oak Harbor, Oak Harbor Lutheran Church, First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor, Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, Langley United Methodist Church, Whidbey Presbyterian Church in Oak Harbor, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island in Freeland and Oak Harbor Reformed Church.

Strawn, a South Whidbey resident for the past eight years, is employed by Murphy’s Flooring & Design in Clinton. She has three children: daughter Alex, 21, a Western Washington University junior; Devon, 16, a South Whidbey High School junior; and Aidan, 8, a South Whidbey Elementary School fourth grader.

Habitat for Humanity sells houses at zero-interest loans to qualified buyers. Much of the materials are donated, and most of the construction is done by volunteers —including the new owner, who must put in at least 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the project, 100 hours directly on the house itself.

Buyers must be steadily employed with low to moderate incomes, and be living in substandard housing.

Habitat for Humanity also provides mandatory classes for buyers on the responsibilities of home ownership and the prudent management of finances.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe and affordable shelter.

With six new houses on the horizon, Imle said there’s a shortage of qualified applicants at the moment, and she urged interested persons to come forward.

For more information about the dedication or Habitat for Humanity of Island County, call 360-679-9444 or visit the website www.islandcountyhabitat.org. To volunteer, e-mail hfhvol@whidbey.com.

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