Habitat for Humanity home going up in Danvers

David Le/Staff photoHabitat for Humanity North Shore is building a single-family home on Coolidge Road in Danvers. Work on the house continued last week with members of the Danvers Rotary Club pitching in.

DANVERS — Turns out, Becky Kilborn is not bad with a Skilsaw, even though it’s been years since she wielded one for a home remodeling project.

Kilborn, a Danvers Rotary Club member, was using it to cut stair stringers last week in what will one day be an affordable home for a family from Salem, a family which is also putting in 400 hours of sweat equity to build the house.

About a half-dozen members of the Rotary, a student from St. John’s Prep, a budding opera singer and site supervisor Bill Guilday of Boxford were among those pitching in last week as Habitat for Humanity worked on building the new house at 55 Coolidge Road. Don Preston, president of the North Shore chapter of the group, was also hard at work.

It’s the second Habitat project in town. Such builds are accomplished with a rotating cast of volunteers and regular site supervisors, Preston said.

The construction is taking place in the suburban Woodvale neighborhood of single-family ranch homes. The town took a dilapidated house on the lot for back taxes, then sold it to the Danvers Affordable Housing Trust for nearly $48,000 to cover back taxes and other expenses. The trust then sold the property to Habitat for $1 with the condition it build a single-family affordable home. The old house has been knocked down.

The new house will be a single-story, four-bedroom home with a full basement. When it’s complete, Daniela and Norberto Martinez and their three children, ages 4, 5 and 6, will live there. Norberto, a truck driver, works for a Danvers company. The children will be able to walk to nearby schools.

“That’s amazing, this opportunity for my kids,” Daniela said. “My kids always ask me: ‘Mom, Mom, when is the house going to be done?’”

While the family gets a new home, volunteers also benefit from the hard work, the sense of giving back and getting to know the new homeowner, Preston said.

The home is meant for a family making 40 percent to 60 percent of the area’s median income, Preston said. The house will cost the family more than $120,000, and their monthly mortgage, taxes and insurance payment will be about $800, Preston said. Many four-bedroom apartments in the area carry rents of $1,800 to $2,000.

The Martinez family lives in a subsidized apartment on Pope Street in Salem, and their move to Danvers will open up their apartment to another family. 

Danvers Rotary Club President Matt Schroeder said the club was glad to help on the project.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who do this professionally,” said Schroeder of the work it takes just to hang strapping from the ceiling.

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