By SARAH BRADBURY
The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is awarding the 2013 Norman and Nancy Eiss Community Impact Grant to Habitat for Humanity of the NRV for its Critical Home Repair Program. The program will receive $10,000 over the next three years, plus services to coordinate critical home repairs for low and fixed-income homeowners throughout the New River Valley.
CFNRV’s Community Impact Grant Program was launched in 2012 and supports projects that will have a long-term impact on a critical community need. By 2030, one in five NRV residents will be age 65 and older, and 75 percent of those will own a home. Of that population, 72 percent of those homes will be over 40 years old. Already, three in five calls to Habitat for Humanity of the NRV are requests for home repairs, and these statistics suggest that number will only increase in the coming years.
The Critical Home Repair Program will work with low and fixed-income homeowners to perform quality home repairs, allowing them to stay in their homes and maintain their property’s value using its extensive group of volunteers, its relationships with civic organizations, and its network of building professionals.
Through homeowner participation in the project and zero percent loans to fund repairs, the program maintains homeowner dignity and ensures long-term financial stability. Additionally, as a hub for volunteers and resources, the program will promote broad community collaboration to make home repairs available and affordable throughout the region.
“Our goal is to serve as the point-of-contact for homeowners with critical repair needs and the network coordinator for churches and civic groups who want to help with this important work,” said Shelley Fortier, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of the NRV.
The program also helps CFNRV to meet its goal of addressing some of the region’s most pressing needs through its grant-making. “The Community Foundation has been seeking opportunities to support housing needs, particularly as they relate to keeping individuals in their homes as they age,” said Jessica Wirgau, executive director of the Community Foundation. “The Critical Home Repair Program uses Habitat for Humanity’s unique relationships and volunteer support to help homeowners throughout the region. We are thrilled to support the program and so grateful to Norm and Nancy Eiss for making this grant possible.”
This is the second year of the Community Impact Grant Program. Thanks to the support of Carolyn Pearsall White, the 2012 award was given to Micah’s Mobile Backpack to deliver weekend meals and snacks to nearly 120 children in need over the summer.
Interested organizations must submit an initial letter of intent each spring, and finalists are invited to submit a full application. Habitat for Humanity was chosen among six finalists in 2013, and a request for 2014 letters of intent will be published in January.
For more information about the Community Foundation and how you can support its grant programs, visit www.cfnrv.org.