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Keys handed over to homeowners in Aberdeen and Joppa

Donna Kropp, center, does the Rosie the Riveter pose at her house dedication ceremony along with Habitat Susquehanna Executive Director Karen Blandford, left, family members, Habitat staff and sponsors.
Donna Kropp, center, does the Rosie the Riveter pose at her house dedication ceremony along with Habitat Susquehanna Executive Director Karen Blandford, left, family members, Habitat staff and sponsors. (Courtesy Yvonne Alston / Baltimore Sun)

On July 10 and 13, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, along with community leaders, volunteers, sponsors, donors, homeowners’ families and friends, celebrated the completion of two Habitat homes at dedication ceremonies held in Aberdeen and Joppa, respectively.

The first of the dedications was for the “Habi-Tech” house, so named as it was built for Habitat Susquehanna by the students of Harford Technical High School in a two-year long process. In May, the modular home was transported to its final, permanent location in Aberdeen where volunteers completed its construction. The homebuyer is Jessica Northcutt, mother of two young boys.

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“My ultimate goal and dream has always been to own a house,” she said. “My kids deserve the best and I want them to be proud of their mommy’s accomplishments. I also want them to have a stable, amazing, safe and secure home.”

Jessica Northcutt and her older son, Dylan, look out of the window of their new home, built by students at Harford Technical High School.
Jessica Northcutt and her older son, Dylan, look out of the window of their new home, built by students at Harford Technical High School. (Courtesy Cathy Herlinger / Baltimore Sun)

Habitat Susquehanna Executive Director Karen Blandford recognized the sponsorships that helped fund the home: Bank of America, Battelle, Bel Air United Methodist Church, Harford Technical High School, Habitat for Humanity International, Harford County Government, and the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust.

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Three days later, the home of Donna Kropp was dedicated in Joppa. The rehab of this townhouse was selected as the location of May’s National Women Build Week activities sponsored by Lowe’s. (This annual event encourages women volunteers to unite with Habitat homebuyers and build up their communities while gaining skills in home construction.) A total of 92 volunteers – 72 of them women – participated during that week, including the homebuyer.

Blandford recognized the sponsorships of the “Women Build” home: Lowe’s, APGFCU, Maryland Affordable Housing Trust and Smiths Detection. She also gave a special recognition to the fundraising teams who competed during Women Build Week, raising more than $16,000 (of a $15,000 goal). They were: Address Our Mess, B&M Clean, Altus Group, Habitat Susquehanna staff, HERstory Makers, Harford County Government, Shop Rite and M&T Bank.

Like all Habitat homeowners, the applicant families went through the rigorous financial review process to ensure they were eligible candidates. The eligibility criteria include demonstrating a housing need; showing an ability to make monthly mortgage payments; and, having the willingness to partner with Habitat Susquehanna. The homeowners each contributed the required 250 “sweat equity” hours working on the construction of their homes. They participated in educational programs designed to strengthen the entire family to help ensure their success as new homeowners, such as taking mandatory financial literacy classes. They purchased their homes through an affordable mortgage and will continue to make monthly payments which in turn will go towards building more Habitat Susquehanna homes.

For more information about Habitat Susquehanna and its upcoming builds, visit www.habitatsusq.org. Interested volunteers can sign up directly on the website or contactBrianne Young, Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator, at byoung@habitatsusq.org.

Harford Technical High School Principal Joe Collins, construction and carpentry instructor Michael Svezzese Jr., and students Caleb Johnson and Robert Koger attended the dedication of Jessica Northcutt's home made by Harford Tech students.
Harford Technical High School Principal Joe Collins, construction and carpentry instructor Michael Svezzese Jr., and students Caleb Johnson and Robert Koger attended the dedication of Jessica Northcutt's home made by Harford Tech students. (Courtesy Yvonne Alston / Baltimore Sun)

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