The partnership between EPNIA and Habitat for Humanity brings together the resources of both organizations to provide affordable housing for qualified homeowners. Habitat provides funding with zero interest loans to applicants who can verify their financial capability and provide 250 hours of “sweat equity” work on their own property. The construction project itself is supervised by Habitat’s professional staff and complemented with volunteer workers from a large number of supporting groups. Enos Park Development has provided vacant lots, design standards for new construction, volunteers, and its ongoing promotion and marketing of the Enos Park neighborhood.
Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County was founded in 1989 and has built more than 100 homes in the local area since then. Several recent projects have taken place in the Enos Park neighborhood.
In 2012, Habitat broke ground at 1133-1137 N. 5th St., a double lot that was donated by Enos Park Development. Habitat constructed a two-story townhouse in accordance with the neighborhood design standards that blends in beautifully with the 100+ year old homes on either side of the new structure. A Colonial Revival style, the townhouses were initially designed as a Lincoln Land Community College architecture class project ten years ago. On April 7, 2013 a dedication ceremony was held and new homeowners Tommie Davenport and DeCalm Jackson received keys to their new homes.
Later in 2013, Habitat constructed a 4-bedroom bungalow at 1104 N. 6th St. the corner of 6th and Bergen that became home to Adrian and Wendie Haley and their five children.
In 2014, Habitat built a 3-bedroom bungalow at 727 N. 7th for Barbara Bell and her foster children.
When Habitat announced they were putting new construction builds on hold countywide in 2016 due to financial constraints, a creative partnership was born. Another non-profit organization, In His Hands Orphans Outreach, was already in the process of renovating a house at 837 N. 7th St., which they intended to sell to raise money for their mission. The house had been donated to IHHOO by Enos Park Development and they had already completed a similar renovation project in the neighborhood two years earlier. This time, they decided to approach Habitat and offer to sell the 4-bedroom house at below appraisal value to the next family on Habitat’s waiting list. A few months later, a dedication ceremony took place as Demara Alberts and her three children prepared to move into their new home.
Enos Park is one of the city’s most historic areas, with almost 90% of the 500 homes in the neighborhood having been built from 1850 to 1910. The large stock of older homes makes Enos Park the perfect place for Habitat’s program, “A Brush with Kindness,” designed to assist home owners with the repair and renovation of the exterior of existing homes. This program is part of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a holistic approach to assist communities as well as individual families. Qualified homeowners must complete 250 hours of work on their homes and be able to pay a monthly mortgage payment at 0% interest over 15-35 years. Habitat is not only the construction company, but also the mortgage lender for their Habitat families.
For more information or to volunteer, visit www.habitatsangamon.com.