Whats New With NHFH
Safer at Home
“Safer at home”, but what if that isn’t always the case? What if “home” was a place where your three children were having to share a single bedroom, or somewhere infested with mold creating health issues, or even somewhere that you or your children’s lives are at risk? To this some people may think “why not just move?”, in short, they can’t. These people are living in substandard conditions while maxing out their budget to afford it. On a normal basis, families can escape these conditions temporarily by going to the grocery store, the beach, school, work, or a even movie, but that is no longer the case. With these “safer at home” orders it is confining people to abnormal, unhealthy living conditions in a much larger amount of time than before.
Approximately 10% of Nassau County is considered to be within poverty level. That is almost 10 thousand working class people, about 2 thousand of which are under the age of 18. That is 2 thousand children that are living in substandard housing right here in our community.
From day one Nassau Habitat for Humanity has strived to put an end to substandard housing in Nassau county one home at a time. We have been able to do this for 44 families so far, through community contributions. Our community provides for us by donating time (volunteering), Land (to build on), and Money (to front the cost of each home).
This fall Nassau Habitat for Humanity will begin building town-homes for two families in Nassau County. In order to do this NHFH will need approximately $225k in donations. You can donate by going to our donate tab at the top of the page and clicking the donate button on the bottom right.
6 on Elm
Fernandina City Commissioners Approve Affordable Housing Project
At its meeting on Feb 4, Fernandina Beach City Commissioners approved a project of six town homes to be built by Nassau Habitat for Humanity. This project, known as “6 on Elm”, is the result of a year-long effort undertaken by Nassau Habitat for Humanity.
The effort was initiated when the Delores Barr Weaver Family Fund selected Nassau Habitat as the recipient of a significant gift that would fund the purchase of buildable lots to be used for affordable housing. The Weaver Family Fund agreed to fund the purchase if Nassau Habitat for Humanity found suitable land and completed all the requirements to plan and build six town homes. They would then be sold to local families meeting the criteria for affordable housing established by Nassau Habitat for Humanity.
The effort coincided with the 25th anniversary of the local Habitat organization that has built 44 homes in the area since 1995. The opportunity to complete six homes, bringing the total number to 50, was a powerful driver for the project.
Early on, Nassau Habitat identified several key components for the project to be feasible and ultimately receive approval. These included finding local organizations and businesses to donate their time to complete the project design while working to prepare the necessary documentation for review by several city committees that needed to approve the project. It is then forwarded for approval by the City Commissioners.
Shortly after a suitable tract of land was identified, Nassau Habitat was told of its first key contribution. John Cotner of Cotner Associates agreed to complete the architectural design at no cost to Habitat. This was closely followed by notifications from Gillette Engineering, and Manzie and Drake Surveyors, that they would also provide their services at no cost to Habitat. The final piece in this complex array of services was the commitment from Tomassetti and Prince to provide legal services.
After consultation with city staff, a recommendation was approved wherein many of the fees required by the project are covered by a special fund administered by the City of Fernandina.
The end result of this unique collaboration among local organizations, city staff, and City Commissioners is that Nassau Habitat for Humanity is anticipating starting construction on the first town home in September 2020. Nassau Habitat wants to thank all the individuals who have donated their time, resources, and expertise to bring this project to its current stage. We look forward to the completion of the first two of the planned town homes in June 2021.