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Habitat launches new program for smaller home repairs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – Habitat for Humanity put new steps on this house on South Main Street in Medina.

MEDINA – An agency that has built 12 houses and done major rehabs on two others in Orleans County is starting a new program that focuses on smaller repairs.

Orleans Habitat for Humanity has launched “A Brush With Kindness” program this week with the construction of a new set of outdoor stairs for a home on South Main Street in the Village of Medina.

“These will be shorter-term projects,” said Barbara Filipak, a board member for Habitat.

The agency started in Orleans in 1992. It could use more volunteers, Filipak said.

The smaller projects, such as repairing windows and steps and painting, can be completed in a few days, making it less onerous for the volunteers.

The agency is still committed to building a new house or doing a major rehab at least once every three years, she said. Habitat typically will select a family first, and then work on building them a home. The family assumes the taxes and insurances, and pays back Habitat an interest-free mortgage.

With the first “Kindness” project on South Main Street, Young Enterprises partnered with Habitat to re-roof the garage and repair fascia on the front porch of the same residence.

The “A Brush With Kindness” program works with financially qualified homeowners in need of minor to moderate exterior repairs to their home or yard. The repairs may then allow the homeowner to meet code, insurance or safety requirements, Filipak said.

Financial responsibilities of the homeowner are reviewed by the Family Selection Committee and approved by the organization’s Board of Directors.

Orleans Habitat may be contacted at 585-798-0953 or by letter at Orleans Habitat for Humanity, Inc., P.O. Box 288, Medina, NY 14103. The agency has an office at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Medina.