After an eight-month hiatus, LowCountry Habitat for Humanity is building again, breaking ground recently in the Pigeon Point neighborhood on a site for two new homes.
Freshly turned dirt marks the future location of houses at 916 and 918 Lafayette St., and contractors are preparing the lots for volunteer construction.
That will kick off with a site blessing 11:30 a.m. Sept. 7 at 916 Lafayette St. for volunteers, donors, and partner families and friends. A volunteer appreciation picnic will follow in Pigeon Point Park.
Habitat has been preparing for the construction of these and two other homes, in Mint Farms, for more than a year. It received a $125,000 federal HOME grant toward the estimated $300,000 needed for all four homes, but months of paperwork and review were required before the funds was available, executive director Brenda Dooley said.
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"So we just recently learned that our grant was released," she said.
The plan is to start with the Pigeon Point homes, finishing the first and framing the second, then move to Mint Farms. Each home is expected to take between four and six months to build, Dooley said.
A mother and adult daughter will live in the first Pigeon Point home, and a grandmother and two grandchildren will live in one of the Mint Farms homes, Dooley said. All have put in the "sweaty-equity" volunteer hours the organization requires from participating families.
It costs Habitat about $75,000 to build the 1,000- to 1,100-square-foot homes, Dooley said, and residents from Pigeon Point, Cat Island and Royal Pines have been raising money for the first home.
In other changes about town:
- New awnings are going up on businesses throughout downtown Beaufort as part of a program by Main Street Beaufort, USA. It coordinated design and discounted prices for participating businesses.
- Olive the Above is preparing to open on the first floor of the former Lipsitz Department Store downtown in the storefront, where Cose Buone was previously set to go. It will include imported oil, specialty pasta and other food and cooking items.
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Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.