A new family has moved in among a block of spruced-up houses in Newburgh in time for the holidays, and their home carries a special Christmas secret.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh dedicated its 90th build in festive fashion: some of the lumber from the 2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is built into the home.
Habitat officials welcomed the family of six on Friday, Dec. 1, with keys to the house at 30 South Miller St.
For nearly 10 years, Tishman Speyer, the owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, has donated lumber that’s been milled from the tree to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat Newburgh has been the beneficiary of Christmas tree lumber three times: in 2011, 2016, and this year.
“We are so excited to be marking the milestone of our 90th completed house,” Cathy Collins, Habitat Newburgh Executive Director, says. “It is fitting that the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is being recycled and given new life as a part of this house, as this house is one of five gut rehabs that Habitat Newburgh is giving new life on this block. Thank you to our long-time partners at M&T Bank, and thank you to the many hearts and hands that went into building this house.”
Those hands include the new homeowners, since part of the eligibility to own a Habitat home is willingness to pitch in on the build. Habitat Newburgh reports that, to date, 101 families (278 children and 189 adults), who earn between 30-60% of the area median income, have demonstrated a willingness to partner with the agency by investing sweat equity into the construction of homes, participating in required homeowner education classes, and signing a mortgage. Habitat Newburgh homeowners contribute nearly $500,000 per year in school and city taxes. Habitat’s “A Brush With Kindness” minor home repair program has also helped 35 Newburgh homeowners.
If you are interested in becoming a homeowner or a volunteer with Habitat Newburgh, visit www.habitatnewburgh.org or call 845.568.6035.