Americus, Ga. - Oct. 5, 1999 - D.C. Habitat for Humanity will team with ABILITY Magazine to build an affordable, accessible and environmentally sustainable home with Ms. Annie Delois Whren, who has multiple disabilities. The construction of the ABILITY House kicks off with a ground-breaking ceremony on Friday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. The construction will take place at 1221 I (Eye) St., S.E. in the Capitol Hill Historic District. Enter the site for the ground-breaking from 1222 Potomac Ave. S.E.
The D.C. ABILITY House is one of a series of new homes being constructed under a national partnership between ABILITY Magazine and Habitat for Humanity International based in Americus, Ga. ABILITY Magazine is a nationally distributed bimonthly publication based in Southern California focusing on issues of disability and human potential. Volunteers with disabilities will lead the effort to build these homes with homeowners with disabilities.
After contributing the required sweat-equity hours, homeowners buy the houses at no profit, through no-interest mortgages from local Habitat for Humanity affiliates. The magazine participates through ABILITY Awareness, its nonprofit project arm that seeks to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The D.C. ABILITY House is sponsored by United Airlines, The Hartford and The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2000.
A feature of the Oct. 15 event will be a demonstration by the Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Union. The union members will erect a wall using a new lightweight structural block made of “autoclaved aerated concrete” (AAC). This AAC block is made with a high level of salvaged content.
The prospective homeowner, Annie Whren, is a great-grandmother with multiple disabilities who worked countless hours and made numerous personal sacrifices to help support her family following the death of her husband in 1975. Once Ms. Whren moves in, she will have accomplished a lifelong goal of owning her own home.
House design and materials have been researched by GreenHome, a group of environmentally concerned professionals who work with D.C. Habitat for Humanity to build energy efficient and sustainable homes.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit worldwide, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity brings together people with resources and people in need to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The homes are sold to those in need at no profit, through no-interest loans. Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda, Habitat for Humanity has built 80,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 375,000 people worldwide. It has affiliates in every state of the United States and in 63 other countries around the world. D.C. Habitat for Humanity is the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the U.S. capital.