SHU's Habitat for Humanity to Co-Sponsor a New Home in Bridgeport

News Story: December 1, 2010

At Sacred Heart University, they take their home work seriously. In this case, it means helping to build a new dream home for a Bridgeport family – from the ground up. The University’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, recognized as one of the top campus chapters in the country, is co-sponsoring the new house to be built at 554 Jane Street.

The project will get underway on Saturday, December 11th, with a public ground-breaking at 1 P.M. that all are welcome to attend. The house will be only a block from one built just over a decade ago by the SHU chapter, and three other Habitat homes are in the immediate vicinity. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.

Kelly Leather is president of the University’s Student Government Association and chairperson of Habitat’s fundraising efforts. She explained that the total cost of building the home will be $175,000. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is providing a $75,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Bridgeport. This funding is stimulus money put towards the rehabilitation of homes and abandoned lots. The lot was provided by the city for the cost of $1, which saved $25,000.

Sacred Heart University’s Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, which has at least 200 active members, has raised $13,500 towards the house in the past year. Additionally, Kelly explains, “We have been given an in-kind contribution from the University for the plumbing and electrical work. This equates to roughly $12,000.” The University chapter is co-sponsoring this house with the Youth United of Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, which is comprised of children from the ages of 5-25. This includes Habitat Homeowners’ children and local high school students.

The three-bedroom house will be “energy star” certified, which will reduce heating costs and improve the quality of air. This means that it will be built with 2x6 advanced framing, and energy star appliances will be installed in the home. All the seams in the house will be caulked to reduce the air flow.

The University’s Habitat chapter will work with its partners to conduct two “blitz build” weekends the first two weekends of February when the walls of the house will be raised. The process of selecting the family who will live in the new home is underway at present. The family chosen must make less than $43,000 to qualify.

Those interested in donating to this “youth build” effort can mail checks to Habitat for Humanity of Costal Fairfield County, 1542 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06610. Make checks payable to Habitat CFC and put SHU Habitat Home Fund in the memo.

For directions or further information, call the HFHCFC office at 203-333-2642.