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FAQs about the Holliston Habitat for Humanity Project

by Joan Carragher

What is it?

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester (HFH-MW/GW), has worked with the town of Holliston to secure a parcel of land on Chamberlain Street where two homes will be built for deserving families that deserve the “hand up” that Habitat provides, and not a handout.

From the local chapter:

Following the HFHI mission, Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester (HFH-MW/GW) works to create simple, decent, affordable housing for low-earning families. In accordance with our motto “A hand up, not a handout,” we are dedicated to building houses with families, not for them.

We partner with families who earn between 25%-60% of the area median income, currently live in substandard housing, and do not qualify for other homeownership programs. Prior to assuming ownership of their new homes, partner families must contribute 400 to 500 hours of sweat equity, which can include time spent building their home alongside Habitat volunteers, attending home improvement and homeownership classes, or partnering with Habitat for various events. Even after families have assumed ownership of their new home, HFH-MW/GW continues to maintain partnerships with its families and provide them with support, educational opportunities, and loan maintenance.

The life-changing work of HFH-MW/GW helps families become stakeholders in their own communities and, in the process, helps strengthen the neighborhoods and communities in which we all live, work, and play.

Where is is?

The land is on Chamberlain Street, next to the tennis courts of Chamberlain Pines swim/tennis center. It was originally set to be used for a wastewater treatment plant, but when the town wouldn’t vote to support sewers throughout Holliston, the land became surplus and is now to be used for housing, in this case, working with Habitat to expand the inventory of Section 40-B, low-income housing in the town of Holliston.

What is the Local Project Committee, and what is its role?

From the LPC manual:

Community-based LPCs are essential to Habitat’s success.  LPC members establish and foster partnerships at the community level to create lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. The outreach and visibility garnered from LPC members provides opportunities for HFH MW/GW to be active in more communities simultaneously. HFH MW/GW adapts projects to fit the needs and desires of each community through insight gained from our LPC member. …

For the duration of the home-building process (12-18 months) the LPC serves as the apex of the project:  leading public awareness and communication efforts, recruiting volunteers, fundraising, and securing in-kind donations.  The HFH MW/GW staff and board of directors support the LPC throughout the home-building process. LPC members report to the assigned Board Advisor of Habitat for Humanity with matters such as community insight, donor prospects, potential volunteer groups, and keep the Board Advisor up-to-date on current community and faith based organizations that wish to partner with Habitat. This transparency allows for higher efficacy for the project and a more satisfying experience for all.

The Holliston Local Project Committee includes the following people, deemed the “Steering Committee” for the group:

Everyone else working on the local projects committee (and as of September 1, 2015, we had nearly 30 different people come to at least one meeting!) should line up with one or two committees in order to have the necessary impact.

For more details on the Local Project Committee Manual (LPC_Manual – Holliston.docx) document in the Google Drive site we use (see below). This Manual will give a significant amount of background on the project, the roles of each sub-committee, and the work to be done.

Ok, but what’s the REAL goal??

The real goal of our team is to both provide the fundraising necessary to get these two homes built – whether through outright cash donations (corporate and individual), through gifts “in-kind” (gifts of materials or services used during the construction of the homes, and through fundraisers that the Local Project Committee gets to define (several examples of good ideas, and not so good ideas in the Manual), AND to be a liaison to the people of Holliston and surrounding towns about what we’re doing, and how they can help.

We all want to get building – but we need to get at least $200,000 committed in donations – cash and/or in-kind donations – in order to break ground. That about half of the estimated $400,000 or so budgeted to get both homes built.

Where can I get more information?

We established a Google Drive site where we store all the related documents on the project, including meeting minutes, brochures, site approval designs and approvals, and the Local Project Committee Manual mentioned above. That site is:

I’m collecting money from people and/or businesses that want to give… how can I get their money?

We’re trying to make it very easy for people to give money to support our project, including:

  • An on-line site where people can make public, or anonymous, donations:
  • Checks can be sent to:
    • Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester
      Attn:  Holliston Project/Deb Huegel
      11 Distributor Road
      Worcester, MA 01605
    • If a corporation needs the tax ID number for HFH-MW/GW, it is: 
    • 22?2583590
  • For fund-raisers where we collect cash, please get that cash to Todd/Doug so it can be sent to the Worcester office and accounted for appropriately

Comments (2)

The two single family homes will be built and sold as affordable homes, and not low income. Greg Carey Holliston Housing Trust

Greg Carey | 2015-10-16 09:07:54

Hi Joan, I don't have your email... so I'm putting it here. the Habitat Tax ID number is 22-2583590 I think it copied in wrong here. thanks! Todd

Todd Barber | 2015-10-15 11:07:04