Updated 09/27/2012 07:20 PM
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity builds 26th home in Pittsfield
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity builds its 26th home in Pittsfield, next to the first one it built almost 19 years ago. Berkshire County reporter Madeleine Rivera has more.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Ron Marcella and his son are volunteers for the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. They're working on the non-profit's 24th house in the west side neighborhood of Pittsfield.
"It's just great to give back to the community with my profession. It's a lot of fun getting involved," said Marcella.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity has been building homes in Pittsfield for about 20 years. Carolyn Valli, Habitat Executive Director, says home ownership is important for many reasons.
"When you have people that own their own homes, they look at it as an asset. They maintain it as an asset. So it really just continues to grow the tax base and continues to grow the whole economy of the neighborhood," said Valli.
The Habitat provides affordable housing to low-income buyers.
"They have to have a critical need, they have to fill out an application and fit our guidelines in terms of the money that they make and they have to partner with us," stated Valli.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity bought a vacant lot on 166 Dewey Avenue from the City of Pittsfield for a dollar. That's where it's building its 26th home, right next to the very first home it ever built back in 1993.
Lashaunda Goines and her mom are the second family to live in that first house.
"Over 10 years now and it's longest we've been in the house. Everybody wants to own their own house, so I think it's a good thing. The Habitat is even better because it makes people that you know can't always afford a house or can't get loans for houses. It makes it possible for them to get a house," said Goines.
She says she's also looking to move out and apply for a house through the Habitat.