LOUDOUN HABITAT FOR HUMANITY, STE
When Loudoun Habitat for Humanity team members et out to launch several affordable housing proj- ects, they couldn’t fathom anyone opposing such a noble effort. They were wrong. In January2009, the organization started planning
four projects involving 21 properties in Loudoun
County. The plan was to purchase, build and redevelop
them for low-income families in need of decent
First, the team had to secure the financial
resources—and the US$3 million housing fund
managed by the county seemed like a natural fit.
So the group submitted a request for US$876,000,
25 percent of the total cost of its four projects.
The team members were confident the project
would get the money—and with good reason, says
Alta Jones, president of the board of directors at
Loudoun Habitat for Humanity.
After all, the local county government had
obtained funds specifically designated to develop
housing for low- and moderate-income families.
Federal stimulus funding was also earmarked for
projects like the ones the group was proposing.
And Habitat for Humanity happened to be the only
group in the area building homes for the low-income population.
There could be little doubt of the need. The
median annual income in Loudoun County is
US$107,000, and it ranks number one in the nation
for 24- to 34-year-olds earning more than
US$100,000 per year. That left even moderate-income families with few housing options.
“It was a project with merit and we brought additional money from the community, which no other
applicant could do,” Ms. Jones says.
With private donations and federal funds, Habitat
could cover 75 percent of each project’s cost.
Still, the team had to prove it had the construction, project management and financial expertise to
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PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE THOMAS BALCH LIBRARY, LEESBURG, VIRGINIA, USA