Employees from Dow kicked off the first week of rehab work on a foreclosed and vacant home on Jersey Avenue in Crystal on September 15. Over the coming months, volunteers will be removing lead and asbestos hazards, replacing the crumbling steps, replacing all the windows, installing insulation, updating the bathroom, kitchen and all surfaces, and adding a detached garage to the lot.
All this work will culminate with a family buying the home through Twin Cities Habitat’s Homeownership Program. The family will be required to contribute hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” as Habitat volunteers and complete homebuyer training courses before closing on their home. Habitat homebuyers have affordable mortgage payments that go back to Habitat so more homes can be funded.
This project, at 5851 Jersey Avenue North in Crystal, is off to a strong start thanks to five days of effort put forth by Dow’s volunteers.
“Their employee volunteers were a great group,” says Site Supervisor Skip Schmall. “They worked tremendously hard and we were able to complete the initial phase of the rehab demo well ahead schedule.”
“It was a great experience to work together and meet some people from other parts of the company while giving back to the community,” says Caleb Gillespie who works for Dow and coordinated the work camp week of volunteering.
Dow has been a partner in Twin Cities Habitat’s mission since the very beginning by making countless in-kind donations of construction-related products. In fact, there’s likely a Dow product that was donated being used on a Habitat construction site every workday somewhere in the Twin Cities metro area.
The home being rehabbed on Jersey Avenue is the eight Habitat home in Crystal since 2012. The money for Habitat to buy this latest property came from a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program called HOME. The program awards grants to help communities rehab or demolish foreclosed and vacant homes so they don’t remain a blight in a neighborhood.