Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

City Applies Self-Help Concept to Housing

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

City Applies Self-Help Concept to Housing

Article excerpt

April 8, 2003, was a big day for four Cumberland, Md., families. In a special deed signing ceremony at City Hall, the Grabenstein, the Lafferty, the Maistros and the Zembower families accepted ownership of their new homes.

They are restoring their new homes to a state of safe, decent and affordable housing under Interfaith Housing of Western Maryland's Self-Help Rehabilitation Program.

In one neighborhood, which had already received some urban renewal investment from Maryland and Cumberland, these families, under the guidance and supervision of IHWM staff, are spending a number of months rehabilitating their own and each other's proposed future homes.

Working together they set out to restore these abandoned buildings to their one time stately Victorian appearance.

These homes had long ago been broken up into apartments, abused, neglected and then deserted.

Now they will once again echo with sounds of families, including children, with adequate space in which to grow. Since this project offers large living spaces, IHWM has focused on working with large families in real need of adequate space.

The base of this program is the "sweat equity" of the participants along with training and financial counseling by IHWM staff that allows them to achieve the American dream, with an affordable mortgage at the end of the process.

For the first lime, IHWM has taken the self-help concept and applied it to rehabilitation in the City of Cumberland. …

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