via Sherrina Navani/ The Trentonian News
TRENTON — Seven well deserving families will get an opportunity to purchase a home for the first time in their lives.
Habitat for Humanity of Trenton has started the development process to create new housing in East Trenton, a project which is expected to be completed by 2016.
“We owned one plot of land, there was a home on the site which was donated to us and then we bought the five remaining plots from the city,” said Director of Development Lecreda Riley of the construction site located on the 500 block of North Clinton Ave.
The $1.4 million project is not the first of its kind for Habitat for Humanity, according to Riley. Since 1986, the non-profit has built a total of 87 homes in Mercer County, 84 of them in East Trenton.
This week, Princeton-based Palmer Square Management donating 28,620 bricks to kick start the project on the 1400 square foot, three bedroom one and a half bath town homes. The seven residences are expected to gain the approval of the city’s planning board during Thursday evening’s meeting.
Families who qualify will purchase the homes for $96,000 each and will get a zero-interest, 20-year mortgage from Habitat for Humanity. Qualified purchasers must currently live in sub-standard conditions and be able to pay just under $1,000 a month to cover the mortgage, utility and taxes on the property. Property taxes will be abated for the first five years, according to city laws.
“Habitat has less than a one percent foreclosure rate because we work with our families and we require all buyers to give 300 hours of sweat equity,” said Riley. “That means the family must volunteer 300 hours of their time to building the home, so they have more of a vested interest.”