News in Cortland NY

Groundbreaking Ceremonies to Kick Off Two Local Habitat Builds

On Sunday May 16, 2010 Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties will ceremoniously break ground on two new homes for two local Habitat Partner families. At 1:00 PM Habitat will kick off its build in the Village of Dryden at 6 Wellsley Drive and at 3:00 PM Habitat will break ground at 33 Arthur Avenue in the City of Cortland.

Habitat homes are built by volunteers, both skilled and novice, who wish to help families in need of affordable, decent housing. All ages are welcome to attend this Groundbreaking event to meet the Partner Families, learn about the home designs, and find ways to get involved in these exciting builds.

This is the first time that the local Habitat affiliate has built homes in both Tompkins and Cortland Counties simultaneously. The Hutchings Family has been selected as the Partner Family for the Cortland Build and the Couch Family has been selected for the Dryden Build.

“Everyone at our organization is thrilled to build two homes this year and have been working endlessly to get to this point,” says executive director Christy Voytko, “We have Family Selection volunteers who help choose our Partner Families, Family Support volunteers who prepare families for homeownership, Site Selection volunteers who help find buildable lots, and of course our Construction volunteers who make building homes a reality. The list goes on and on... these homes could not be built without the dedication and hard work of our volunteers.”

Habitat for Humanity International has a saying that “It takes many hands to build a home.” And that statement couldn’t be truer for the local affiliate. Habitat is still looking for volunteer Crew Leaders, people who have knowledge of residential construction and that can lead groups of volunteers on site. Also, Habitat is looking for Volunteer Coordinators, representatives who don’t need to know anything about construction, but do need to be friendly and outgoing to make sure that volunteers sign-in, meet the Crew Leaders, and have a good experience at the build site.

The Couches and the Hutchings, 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.

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.