Habitat's project included the construction of two, two-family homes on two lots at the corner of Westervelt Place and Lake Avenue. Each house includes two, 1,800 sq. ft. single-family dwellings separated by a dividing wall. Neither home has been built with a basement, but each of the four families will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and use of a two-car garage. The project is focused on sustainable building (less wasted material, more insulation) that would reduce the energy costs for the future homeowners.
The homes, designed so they will fit in with the surrounding neighborhood, are LEED certified – something the organization hopes will help the homeowners with energy costs. All appliances are energy efficient and all water fixtures are low flow.
Jaycee Raimondo, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Bergen, said the families that applied for home ownership were required to meet core Habitat for Humanity criteria which includes a minimum salary of about $35,000 annually, the ability to make mortgage payments – on an interest-free Habitat mortgage – and a promise to put 400 hours of “sweat equity” into the building of their home.
At the beginning of the project, Raimondo told Patch, “They start building their sense of community on the project as they’re building their homes.”
Habitat for Humanity was given one of the lots by the borough and the other was purchased with a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant. Habitat was also awarded a $100,000 affordable housing grant through the TD Charitable Foundation’s Housing for Everyone grant competition for the Oradell project. United Water and Oritani Bank also provided sponsorship for the project and the Alpine/Closter Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office hosted a garage sale in raised $1,900 through their annual garage sale to benefit the Oradell Habitat project.
On hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony were County Executive Kathleen Donovan, former mayor of Oradell Dianne Camelo Didio and current Mayor Joseph Murray, the report noted.