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Sandtown-Winchester is a vibrant Baltimore community with a rich history and deep cultural traditions. The housing stock is architecturally beautiful but has deteriorated. Too many Sandtown families with incomes below the neighborhood median of about  $15,000 must rent substandard units from absentee landlords, and hundreds of units sit vacant and boarded. Awareness of Sandtown's housing crisis led members of New Song Community Church to initiate an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity in 1989 to respond to the challenge of rebuilding homes and hope.

Our funding comes from numerous individuals, congregations, corporations, foundations, educational institutions, and government entities. The City of Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development is a major partner in every home that Sandtown Habitat for Humanity completes (providing vacant houses for rehabilitation as well as general support). All of our legal work is provided on a pro bono basis by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston.

The average cost of a Sandtown Habitat house is around $100,000, about one-half of the cost for traditional development. Cost is kept low through maximum use of volunteer labor and donated materials and the family who will own the home investing at least 330 hours of “sweat equity” in their own home and others. Volunteers come from both here in Sandtown and outside the community and include individuals as well as numerous congregations, corporations, colleges and universities. All are overseen by our full-time construction staff.

A family selection committee reviews applications and selects homeowners based on level of need, willingness to become partners in the program, and ability to repay the loan.

Sandtown Habitat is committed to eliminating all vacant housing in our 15 block focus area, a total of 350 houses for Sandtown families within the next several years. Having completed more than 290 homes including the ten initiated during the 1992 Jimmy Carter Work Project, 15 more houses are under construction. Together, a full time staff of more than 15 plus homeowners and thousands of volunteers are joyfully rebuilding homes and hope together here in Sandtown.

Here are some of the highlights of our first twenty years:

bullet Completion of 300 houses for homeownership for low-income first-time homebuyer families.
bullet Unique in City in provision of homeownership opportunities for low and very low-income families.
bullet Fostered investment of more than $20 million in housing in Sandtown community.
bullet Elimination of more than 300 vacant houses, now contributing to tax base.
bullet Contributed to substantial increase in property values in Sandtown.
bullet Hundreds of children now living in homes with no lead-based paint which can cause major irreversible health problems.
bullet Hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from throughout the region and the nation.
bullet Hosted 1992 Jimmy Carter Work Project and 20 annual Summer Building Weeks.
bullet Neighborhood-based organization run by neighborhood-based staff and Board of Directors.
bullet Employment and training of men and women from the neighborhood in construction and construction management.
bullet Provided an effective model which is profiled both locally and nationally.
bullet Served as a catalyst for change and a sign of hope


Sandtown Habitat for Humanity
1300 N. Fulton Avenue Baltimore, MD 21217
Phone: 410.669.3309
Fax: 410.523.3015

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