Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity in the Northeast Kingdom

NEK Habitat is a local project committee of the Upper Valley (UV) affiliate located in White River Junction. We are guided by the UV affiliate, which has paid staff and has built 25 homes since 1981, and currently hold two seats on their Board of Directors.

NEK Habitat has worked on 82 homes since 2008. We have helped people build or repair affordable housing in towns including Brownington, Danville, Barton, Orleans, Lowell, St. Johnsbury, Lyndonville, East Haven, Barnet, Greensboro, and Hardwick.

NEK Habitat Building Opportunities

NEK Habitat’s building activity has several levels:

  • Small projects of less than $200 in materials may be accomplished in 1-2 workdays. Habitat incurs all upfront costs and uses volunteer labor to repair, weatherize and upgrade existing homes. Homeowners repay Habitat for our costs.
  • Larger projects, such as new roofs, substantial repairs, or multiple repairs are undertaken over weeks or months of activity, working 1-2 days per week. NEK Habitat donates most labor but may hire subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, or other jobs requiring certified work. Loans of up to $5000 are secured with a promissory note.
  • Home addition or replacement projects costing over $5000 are secured with a second mortgage on the home.
  • New home construction is secured with a first mortgage.

NEK Habitat selects homeowner families for both small and full-house projects based on three basic criteria: Habitat partner families must earn less than 70% of the county median income; must be willing to contribute “sweat equity;” and they must be currently living in substandard housing.

Habitat gives its partner families a non-profit, no-interest loan, and maintains close contact with the families as they occupy their homes. Loan payments are used for the construction or renovation of additional, future affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity International

Established in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller and others, Habitat for Humanity built its first house in Americus, Georgia in 1979, and opened its first international affiliate that same year in Guatemala. By 1981, Habitat had 14 national and seven international affiliates and had completed 342 houses.   Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn became volunteers in 1984.  Recently, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) celebrated the building of its 600,000th house worldwide, having served over 3 million homeowners in its 41 years.

Habitat for Humanity Works in Partnership

Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with God’s people in need by building and renovating houses, so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which God’s people can live and grow into all that God intended.

Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization. Its roots are in the ideas of Christian service. However, Habitat does not discriminate in welcoming volunteers or in choosing partner families. Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, marital status, or sexual orientation in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s abiding belief that God’s love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.

2017 NEK Habitat Steering Committee

Chair – Tim McKay, Peacham
Treasurer – Beth Williams, Danville
Secretary – Merle Haskins, St Johnsbury
General Manager – Patricia Janssen, St. Johnsbury
Homeowner Services – Dan Swainbank, Danville
Project Coordinator – Bruce Starbuck, Lyndonville

Rev. Jay Sprout, Barnet
Susan Aiken, St. Johnsbury
Rob Balivet, Danville