Dedication for newest Habitat for Humanity home set for Friday

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Habitat for Humanity will hold a dedication at Parrotts Ferry Village for its latest completed duplex on Friday.

Habitat started working on the duplex in April, after finishing two other complexes as part of a development that will eventually include 35 total units.

Betsy Harden, executive director of the Tuolumne County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, said that the public is invited to the 6 p.m. dedication.

The organization expects to complete the next duplex at the Columbia-area housing project in October, Harden said.

Habitat representatives think four units will be completed a year at Parrotts Ferry Village.

Volunteers are on schedule to finish two duplexes a year until the project is complete, Harden said. That exceeds organization's original plan to build a unit a year in the county.

"It's one of my very favorite moments," Harden said of dedications like Friday's planned ceremony.

Funded through donations and grants, Parrotts Ferry Village has been under construction since Habitat scooped up what was a bankrupt real estate development.

The project is meant to provide home ownership for households that earn no more than 80 percent of the area median income, which is approximately $24,600, according to the latest data available.

Families chosen must be willing to donate at least 500 hours of volunteer work with the organization and undergo financial counseling and maintenence education.

About a half-dozen regular volunteers have given their time on the project, and local businesses have also contributed groups of volunteer workers through organized events, Harden said.

"We're always looking for both experienced and inexperienced volunteers," Harden said. "We're not only offering the family moving into the home that incredible experience, but for volunteers that want to learn a little bit about building, they can come out and hone their skills."

Harden said a recent partnership will add a new dimension to the project.

Habitat recently forged a partnership with PG&E, which will donate money and material to install solar panels on each unit, Harden said.

"It's one of those feel good things you can share with the community," she said of the project. "This is what community can do."

The Union Democrat
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