- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008

The District’s Habitat for Humanity today will dedicate its 100th home built in the city. The home will go to Alisha Bolden and her two children, who will leaving public housing to become part of the community of 33 Habitat houses in Northeast.

“Owning a home means that I’m able to show my children that if you work hard at accomplishing your goals, they can be fulfilled,” Miss Bolden said.

Mary Phelan, director of development for D.C. Habitat for Humanity, said the 100 families who live in D.C. Habitat homes fit a need-based criteria, and must donate hundreds of construction hours or office hours to Habitat. Mortgages are no-interest, no-profit because homes are built with donated labor and resources. Each year at least 3,000 volunteers work with the 20-year-old D.C. affiliate, she said.

Miss Bolden’s yellow, two-story house off 55th and Clay streets Northeast is next to Habitat’s 99th District home, which will be dedicated today to Barbara and Stanley Carroll.

Mr. and Mrs. Carroll yesterday helped volunteers clean and install windows in their home.

Mrs. Carroll started to work on Habitat houses in the Northeast neighborhood almost a year ago and will contribute about 20 more hours to fulfill her 300-hour “sweat equity” commitment. She will surprise her two children with the dedication today, and her children will see the inside of the home for the first time.

Mrs. Carroll first attended a Habitat orientation meeting years ago, where she met Miss Bolden.

“Alisha [Bolden] said, ‘I hope I live next door to you,’ ” Mrs. Carroll said, smiling. “And now we’re neighbors.”

Assistant site managers Teresa Hamm and Andrew Modley worked yesterday with the Carrolls and other volunteers to “punch out” the final tasks on their lists, Mr. Modley said.

Habitat volunteers and others from AmeriCorps and Georgetown University touched up paint and cleaned out the houses to prepare for the move-in weekend.

“There’s always a last-minute crunch to get it clean,” said Mr. Modley, 26, who has worked with Habitat in the District for two years.

Habitat site manager Van Anderson said that four years ago, D.C.’s Housing Authority sold 4.2 acres in Northeast to Habitat for a dollar.

As of today, 33 of the planned 53 homes are finished on the property, which stood vacant for 20 years.

Ms. Phelan said all 53 homes should be finished by 2010.

She also said 60 percent of families who move into D.C. Habitat homes put their children through some kind of college education.

“It’s a permanent change in life,” she said.

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