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Habitat for Humanity, International (HFH)

Habitat for Humanity, International (HFH) was founded on the conviction that all of God’s children deserve a decent and safe place to live. Habitat is a proven model successfully enabling more than 1,000,000 people worldwide to move from inadequate shelter into simple, decent homes.

The “theology of the hammer” serves as a guiding principle for our work. Using the hammer as an instrument of God’ love, Richmond Habitat joins together a diverse faith community to work in partnership, creating the common ground on which we stand together to help our neighbors.

Our core mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing affordable homes to people in the Greater Richmond area. We do this by building simple, decent, modest homes in partnership with low to moderately low income families and local government, business, faith groups, civic association, school and individual volunteers and donors. Our work is a celebration of faith and community where grace and love abound for all, equally.

Muslims and Christians from around the world have joined together through the Center for Interfaith Reconciliation to similarly find “a common word” and theology shared by both religious groups. That common thread – love of God and love of neighbor – is made tangible by working with Habitat. We demonstrate love of neighbor (each other), love of God (we work in praise of Him) by working together side by side for a common purpose, by reaching out to help a “neighbor” in need. Richmond Habitat allows all God’s people to put their faith into action. Our Volunteers form bonds with homeowners and each other, crossing socio-economic, racial, religious and cultural lines, strengthening and uniting the fabric of our community. They find a deeper understanding of their faith, by putting their personal beliefs into action.

What is special about Richmond Habitat’s Angus Road Subdivision?

The Angus Road subdivision, a brand new 17-home in-fill community located off Walmsley Boulevard on Richmond’s Southside, is Richmond Habitat’s1st neighborhood ever built in the City of Richmond in its 23 year history.

The Angus Road development was a unique study in regional cooperation, involving over 45 corporate, civic, and faith organizations, and thousands of individual donors. More than 6,800 volunteers participated in the community build effort alongside 17 new Habitat homeowner families.

Situated on a private lane and cul-de-sac with poured concrete sidewalks and entrance walkways, the new neighborhood features four brand-new architectural designs, offered pro bono by AIA architect Doug Bollinger. To date, Mr. Bollinger has offered the affiliate 7 new front elevation plans to enhance the look of the homes RMHFH builds in the organization’s service area.

Design enhancements include improved floor plans; attractive facades; inviting front porch settings; matching in-yard lampposts and mailbox posts; cut-glass doors; and proportionately-relevant front and rear entry lighting.

The development of neighborhoods versus “one-offs” (single-family houses on single lots) allows Richmond Habitat to serve more families and save money through increased build efficiencies associated with density building, helping to keep mortgages at a minimum for Habitat homebuyers.

And, true to our commitment to responsible land use, many of the properties purchased by Richmond Habitat for d, including the Angus Road property, are defined as “in fill” to help reduce urban sprawl.

We at Richmond Habitat believe that our mission to unite the region around the cause of decent, affordable housing for everyone is inextricably linked to the need to support safe, healthy communities and a sustainable environment. Sustainable design which considers the long-term social, economic and environmental impact of our developments is just plain good economics.

As a EarthCraft™ certified and EnergyStar® rated builder, we are committed to our green building program that promotes the use of low-impact building methods, environmentally-friendly materials, and energy-efficient systems to help protect our environment while also providing measurable, long term savings for our homeowners.

The new single family subdivision offers a natural intersection of income earners in the 30-60% area median income bracket, providing an affordable housing community in an attractive suburban neighborhood setting within the city limits.

Twenty-five adults and 34 children were able to move out of overcrowded rental units, substandard housing, or crime inflicted neighborhoods when they purchased their homes and took up residence in this new community.

Angus Road Landscaping Initiative

The Angus Road Landscaping Initiative is Richmond Habitat’s largest landscape project to date, involving over 40 local businesses, landscaping professionals, and master gardeners from throughout the region. Homeowners in the Angus Road subdivision will soon have a “green” landscape thanks to a unique partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Chesterfield County Office; Richmond Council of Garden Clubs; Richmond Professional Grounds Management Society (RPGMS); Southern States; Ukrop’s Super Markets/Watkins Nurseries Composting Partnership; Yard Works/Grind-All; Colesville Nursery; Wetsel Inc.; and Tractor Supply. The project is being led by horticulturalists in VCE’s Chesterfield County office with the support of landscape professionals from across the greater Richmond region.

The lawns and landscapes for 17 new homes across the 5.24 acre neighborhood will serve not only an aesthetic purpose but will also aid in energy and water conservation. Landscape functionality, cost-effective maintenance, and positive environmental impacts are a few of the elements being considered in the design.

The proactive design approach focuses initially on soil amendment to provide a productive environment for turfgrass and plant growth. Sustainable landscape methods also include the use of low maintenance, drought resistant turfgrass and plants and the strategic placement of trees and shrubs to reduce energy consumption as well as homeowner education on the seasonal care of their new landscapes.

“The Angus Road landscaping partnership marries beautifully to our role in providing affordable housing stock that positively impacts the neighborhoods in which we build,” says Leisha LaRiviere, Executive Director of Richmond Habitat. “Not only have we introduced new, refined house designs at our Angus Road subdivision, but also, as an EarthCraft™ and EnergyStar® certified builder, we are using sustainable green building tactics to construct healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills for our homeowners and protect the environment. Now, with the support of these local businesses and landscape specialists, we can provide additional solutions that address the aesthetics and sustainability of our landscape design. The partnership works well with our overall environmental goals to promote sustainable living and the responsible stewardship of our natural resources.”