Habitat for Humanity builds efficient home in church parking lot

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There is a big festival planned this weekend. Several churches on North Trenholm Road will showcase all things green or energy efficient. They have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build an Earthcraft certified house in a church parking lot.

"Everything fell into place," said Habitat for Humanity's Roy Kramer about the house. "It was a blessing."

The house being built not on dirt, but atop cement blocks.

The home is the first of its kind in the Midlands. It's built to conserve energy and leftover materials are recycled. The wood is even reused to make dog houses. Habitat for Humanity partnered with four churches and two synagogues to get it done. Heathwood Hall students are lending a hand too.

"All of God's children can work together to create safe and affordable housing for people who need a little bit of help to get ahead," said Rev. Ellen Skidmore with Forest Lake Presbyterian Church.

Kramer is one of the men in charge of this project. He says this is not a free house.

"It's not a giveaway," said Kramer. "These folks work hard for their house. They pay for their house."

Kramer says the homeowners go through 2 years of training and preparation before they get their home built and once it's complete they must pay about $300 a month. That money goes back to Habitat for Humanity to build other houses.

"It is a long process, but you end up with a 1,200 square foot home, interest free," said Kramer.

The first phase of construction will be complete this weekend and next week the house will move to an empty lot on Judy Street.

Takia Gallman has been at the site since construction on her new home started Wednesday. With a new baby and a new home, she has quite a bit to look forward to.

"She'll have a more energy efficient home, lower electricity bills," said Kramer. "Just an easier place to take care of."

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