Hometown Habitat News

From The Lundy’s Perspective: A Habitat Home Investment

Lundy Family

Noah and Carol Lundy began their journey with Habitat in January 2012. After being engaged in volunteer work and participating in financial classes with Habitat, they purchased a 3-bedroom, 2 bath home in Eustis with a private fenced yard, which was just what they needed since gaining custody in 2011 of their two nieces, Ariel and Tapanga.

They later adopted the girls in March 2013.

“One of the most exciting things about buying the home from Habitat was like putting money in the bank, so to speak, due to the payments being low enough,” Noah says. “We paid more each month, thus increasing the equity, which was exciting itself!”

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Habitat for Humanity Ramps Up Programs for Locals in Need

preservation and repair

Free service helps low-income residents with disabilities better navigate in and out of their homes.

By SARAH WILSON, The Villages Daily Sun

For anyone making their way through life relying on the assistance of a wheelchair or walker, navigating stairs can be a struggle – especially when those stairs stand between them and the world beyond their front door.

Beulah Slaymaker, 97, was confined to her home for months earlier this year when she no longer had the strength to get out of her wheelchair and make her way down the four steps from the front porch of the Sorrento mobile home she shares with her daughter, Shirley Wencel.

Wencel had to cancel doctor appointments and switch to home health care for her mother after it became too unsafe for the pair to navigate their way down the stairs.

Then Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter stepped in.

Since January, program coordinator Shari Kuck said, Habitat has installed four ramps for disabled, low-income residents of Lake and Sumter counties at no charge to the homeowners, including one for Slaymaker in July.

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Estate Planning FAQ’s



How often should I review my estate plan?
No Estate plan is permanent. Estate plans should change as personal circumstances change. You should review your estate plan every two or three years at a minimum, or more frequently should your personal circumstances change significantly. For example, it is a good idea to review your estate plan with an attorney if you move to a different state, lose your spouse, get divorced, have additional children or grandchildren, or if your financial position changes significantly. Read the rest of this entry »

Volunteer Voices: A Moment with Fabian Klein-Hessling

meet fabian

My name is Fabian.  I am 23 years old and I am from Germany.  Currently, I am completing a four month internship at Habitat for Humanity.  I graduated last year from Phillips University of Marburg with my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.  In October I plan to return to Germany and pursue my Master’s Degree.  When I am not working or at school I enjoy spending my free time playing football, meeting new friends, and traveling to new countries.

During my studies I worked as an assistant for a partially blind student, supporting her with reading and understanding exams. The job was very rewarding and I realized that I wanted to continue helping people in need. I knew my time at Habitat for Humanity would allow me to help the community and explore the United States.

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Vets Village Open for Visitors

vets village open for visitors

Over the past few years women of the Villages Decorating Club have supported local Habitat families and our mission of providing affordable housing. Typically the club sponsors homes in The Villages area, but excited at a chance to give back to the Veteran community they donated $4,000 to provide new microwaves for each of the Veterans Village homes.  In gratitude of their gift, and to show off the newly installed microwaves, Habitat for Humanity invited the club for a sight-seeing tour of the Veterans Villages neighborhood.

On a very hot and busy day at the Village, two buses filled to the brim with over 90 women arrived to see the community first hand – the first of many tours coming to the Veterans Village this year. After a short introduction by Danielle Stroud, the club members were able to walk through all 6 veterans’ houses and ask questions about the project.

The tours proved to be a fun, educational, and successful event and Habitat is hopeful that the tours to follow will be just as successful. This November Habitat plans to provide free tours to donors and volunteers, as well as the general public to see the grounds and available homes.

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Low Income Housing Does Not Harm Property Values, Study Shows

low income housing newsletter

Low income housing units have no effect on nearby property values, according to a new study by real estate company Trulia. The finding comes at a time when there are some concerns around affordable housing through Florida.

Some of the most common concerns around affordable housing construction are tied to home values. But this study reaffirms a body of research that undermines those fears. And it works to counteract the so-called NIMBY mindset, meaning ‘not in my backyard’. A proposed tiny house development in Fort Braden was met with similar concerns earlier this year. Florida Housing Coalition President Jaimie Ross says too many picture slums when they hear the word affordable.

“Today’s affordable housing is built by the private sector, using the tax credit program predominantly. It’s beautiful housing, it looks just like market rate housing, meaning housing that’s not affordable. Has all the same outward finishes, beautiful design,” Ross said. Read the rest of this entry »

New Construction moves to Sumter County

lake county article

LEESBURG — High impact fees in the county have made it impossible for Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter to continue building new homes in Lake in the coming years for those in need of affordable housing, officials say.

As a result, the Habitat’s board of directors made a decision to move all of its new construction to Sumter County after it completes the estimated 15 homes it has scheduled to be built in Lake in the next 18 to 24 months.

“It goes back to the fact that the impact fees in Lake County are more than 20 percent of the cost of an affordable house,” said Kent Adcock, Habitat’s president and chief executive officer. “So when you factor 20 percent of the cost of the house, it does not include the cost of the land. You may be talking 30 to 40 percent of the cost of the house is not even in the construction of the house. This calculation disproportionately affects the working poor who desperately need an affordable place to live.”

Adcock said the organization is building homes for two families: one in Sumter County for an individual who has a disabled son to care for, and another in Lake County for a government worker whose family is unable to all live under the same roof because of high rental costs.

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Veterans Village Relocates to Umatilla

Aerial Cottages at Waters Edge2

After a considerable period of due diligence, Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter has decided to relocate its Veterans Village from Leesburg, FL to Umatilla, FL due to unsustainable project development costs for Workforce Housing for Veterans.

Habitat CEO Kent Adcock reported that a combination of increased development costs, combined with Impact Fees, have forced the affiliate to cut the size of the veteran’s project from 22 houses to 14, and to locate it to a site it has purchased in Umatilla.

Habitat has executed a purchase of The Cottages at Waters Edge, a 14 lot development in Umatilla. The main reason for the relocation is due to the high costs of infrastructure and development. Adcock says the value for the Umatilla site is considerable as it offers ‘ready to build’ lots that have pre-paid impact fees which, when combined with other development costs, amount to a total project savings of over $20,000 per house. In order to be a good steward with donor and sponsor dollars, the affiliate has elected to decrease the Villages size while at the same time reducing the cost per unit. An added benefit will be the ability to have a Veterans Park & Gardens on Lake Enola located in the Village Subdivision.

CEO Adcock praises the City of Leesburg staff and City Commission for their overwhelming support for the project. “We could not have asked for better community partners from the city of Leesburg, but in the final analysis the development costs were simply ‘outside the envelope of affordability’. We regret that Leesburg will not be the site for our project, but we want everyone to know that the Veterans Village Project will go forward on the new site in Umatilla.”

Habitat will kick off construction of the Veterans Village at The Cottages at Waters Edge on November 5th with a special community groundbreaking event at the site on Highway 19. A Bob Hope impersonator, along with the LC Swing Band will re-enact the old Bob Hope USA Show in a free community performance sponsored by Your HomeTown Habitat. Part of the event will include raising the wall on the very first home in the veteran’s village.

Related Articles:  Veterans Village Relocating to Umatilla – Daily Commercial

To learn more contact Danielle Stroud at danielle@habitatls.org.