Solar-powered Oakland home marks fourth local Habitat for Humanity dwelling

May 2 2013
By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling
mhhetling@mainetoday.com
MaineToday Media


OAKLAND -- On Saturday morning, a crew of women will work on New England's first solar-powered Habitat for Humanity house.

Dave Cross, executive director for the Waterville-area chapter of Habitat for Humanity, said he expects to participate in Women Build Day, part of a Habitat effort to encourage women volunteership in the program.

The volunteers will be installing vinyl siding and painting the interior of the house, which is located on Jacques Lane.

"We are looking forward to National Women Build Week and the opportunity to engage more women in our work," Cross said. "We are very pleased with the crew of volunteer women of all construction levels that will join us on the build site."

The event is one of more than 300 similar events happening in Habitat for Humanity chapters across the country between May 4-12, as part of National Women Build Week.

The Waterville event received $5,000 in funding from Lowe's, which also hosted a training session for volunteers Tuesday in its Augusta location.

The money will go toward the purchase of Lowe's building materials for future projects.

This is the fourth house the Waterville chapter has built since it was founded in 2001. When completed, it will become the home of Joni Sprague, a 31-year-old single mother who currently shares a bedroom with her twin 3-year-old girls in her Waterville apartment.

Sprague applied for the residence because she wouldn't qualify for traditional home financing.

She will assume the estimated $660 monthly mortgage payments for the property, and also has been required to put in a certain amount of "sweat equity" by participating in the home construction. 

The home's solar energy system added to the cost of the home, but Habitat leaders said, thanks in part to state and federal subsidies, that it will pay for itself in five years.

Women Build Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers are asked to bring hammers and painting supplies such as trays and rollers, if available.

Organizers will provide tools to those who need them, and also provide a lunch and beverages.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling -- 861-9287

mhhetling@centralmaine.com

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