EDA Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County as Part of Christie Administration’s Season of Service
From left to right: Tim Lizura, EDA President and Chief Operating Officer; Annie Fox, Resource Development Manager, Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County; Maureen Hassett, Senior Vice President, EDA; Melissa Orsen, Chief Executive Officer, EDA; and Fred Cole, Senior Vice President, EDA.
Trenton, N.J., (December 16, 2015) – As part of the Christie Administration’s fifth annual “Season of Service” initiative, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) CEO Melissa Orsen volunteered today at a Willingboro Habitat for Humanity construction site. Orsen was accompanied by a team of EDA volunteers, including President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura, and Senior Vice Presidents Fred Cole and Maureen Hassett.
EDA’s leadership team spent the morning installing decking to support the floor of a home on a site where ground was broken in November. Construction of the home is expected to be completed within about a year. Once completed, the home will be purchased by a family of five currently living in a two-bedroom apartment.
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County, the Maple Shade-based non-profit affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, has built 50 homes since its inception in 1987, including houses in Burlington City, Mt. Holly, Medford, Cinnaminson, Beverly, Pemberton, Palmyra, Florence, Moorestown, Burlington Township, Bordentown, and Mt. Laurel. Habitat serves thousands of people each year with opportunities to volunteer and give back to their communities, as well as hundreds of individuals and families who now have a place to call home.
Financing terms for low income families partnering with Habitat for Humanity to purchase homes include zero interest financing and payments not exceeding 30 percent of gross income, and no down payment is required. Participating families must complete 250 to 400 hours of “sweat equity” to build their home and the homes of other Habitat families, work in Habitat’s ReStores, and attend Homeowner Education classes, meetings, and special events.
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County recently received a loan through the EDA’s Small Business Fund to purchase the building it had been leasing since 2014. Prior to that, the entity’s corporate offices and ReStore operations had been located in Cinnaminson. The move to Maple Shade was driven by the goal of expanding, and attracting more customers to the ReStore, which sells donated, secondhand items to raise money for the organization.
The Christie Administration’s annual Season of Service activities allow Administration staff to perform volunteer work at various locations across the State to help New Jersey residents. Continuing the success of previous service initiatives, this year’s activities are focused on serving New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.
In the spirit of Season of Service, EDA has undertaken its own initiative, the EDA Community Challenge, through which each department within the EDA participates in a community service project. The more than ten organizations supported to date include Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, the Trenton Animal Shelter, the Salvation Army, Womanspace, and Riverside Nursing Home.