This morning, June 2nd, 2011, a three-bedroom modular house began its move from McKinley High School to a building site at 50 Wilson Street, Lackawanna, initiating a new collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo and the Construction Industry Education Foundation. The house is being moved from the school on Elmwood Avenue, where the students built it, to a poured foundation.
The builders, students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at McKinley, framed, roofed, and sided the building in addition to installing windows, electrical, plumbing, insulation, and wallboard. Typically, this is done in a one-year course in the construction trades curriculum. The house is sold to a builder at cost, then moved onto a construction site for completion. This year, and hopefully into the future, the house will be completed by McKinley High School students and Habitat new-build volunteers. This experience will help to facilitate the students’ employment in the construction industry and/or enrollment in a construction program at ECC or SUNY Alfred State College of Technology.
The new low-income homeowner is Marilyn Miller and her family. She has been pre-qualified by Habitat, will make a down payment of $300 and perform 500 hours of sweat equity labor alongside Habitat volunteers in order to learn home maintenance skills and gain confidence in being a homeowner. She has also attended education classes on budgeting, home maintenance, and fire prevention and home safety. Habitat will hold the no-interest no-profit mortgage on the home and Habitat staff will be available to support Ms. Miller in any challenges she faces as a new homeowner.
Habitat Executive Director David Zablotny says, “A partnership between Habitat Buffalo and the Construction Industry Education Foundation will provide the necessary funding needed to construct a new house at the school each year. It will also insure that the work done by the students in constructing the house will help make a difference in the community. Each house purchased by Habitat Buffalo will go to a prequalified low-income family and will help bring new life to a Buffalo area neighborhood.”