News in Cortland NY

Local Habitat to Build on Arthur Ave

Hutchings Family Selected as Habitat Partner Family

The Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties (TCHFH) Board of Directors unanimously approved the newest Habitat Partner Family, The Hutchings, for the next Cortland build. Chad Hutchings, Courtney Stark, and Emma Hutchings, 5 years old, will live in a new single-family home to be built by volunteers on 33 Arthur Avenue. Construction is slated to begin this spring.

“Everyone at our organization is so excited about partnering with the Hutchings Family,” says executive director Christy Voytko, “Habitat’s Family Selection Committee met the family first and enthusiastically recommended them to the Board to be selected for this build. Last Monday, the Board had the opportunity to meet them. Emma, who completed her 100th day of school that day, took charge and decided to write all of the Board Member’s nametags while Courtney and Chad helped her sound out everyone’s name. It was obvious that they are a family that supports one another.”

When asked about why he wanted to own a Habitat home Chad replied, “Courtney and I both grew up in stable homes and have dreamed of providing this type of stability to our children. We feel so blessed to receive the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity and make this a reality.”

Chad Hutchings works on the Community Support Staff at the J.M. Murray center in Cortland, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide individualized services for people with disabilities or other barriers to independence. In addition to his full-time job at J.M. Murray, he also has taken a part time job as manager of Pudgies Pizza in Cortland so Courtney can attend Tompkins Cortland Community College. She hopes to be accepted into the nursing program this fall. Emma is currently in kindergarten at Smith Elementary School.

Chad and Courtney, like all Habitat homeowners, will commit 500 hours of “sweat equity” working on their own home, the homes of others, and attaining skills needed for self-sufficiency and responsible homeownership. They will purchase their home with an affordable no-profit, no-interest mortgage from Habitat. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving fund to build more homes for families in Tompkins and Cortland Counties.

Habitat is currently seeking sponsors for the upcoming build, and local contractors to donate their time and services to help the Hutchings realize the American Dream of homeownership.

Habitat homes are built by volunteers, both skilled and novice, who wish to help families in need of affordable, decent housing. They are currently working to finish building a home in Lansing for Amber Little and her family. To volunteer, please visit to sign up.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties visit or call (607) 898-4148.