Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland plans later this year in Freeport to build a single-family home similar to this one. Courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland

FREEPORT — Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland seeks would-be homeowners for a house that could be built later this year at the corner of Old Brunswick Road and U.S. Route 1.

That organization had eyed a June construction start, but the coronavirus pandemic could delay that. Informational sessions required to be attended by those interested in applying to own the home, scheduled for Monday, March 23, to Wednesday, March 25, have been postponed indefinitely.

A design for the home – either two, three or four bedrooms – will be chosen once Habitat has selected the family that will help build and occupy the home. Habitat owns the land on which it will sit.

“We haven’t broken ground yet; we’re just trying to get a family so we can build around what we need,” said Molly Brake, the Portland organization’s director of family services.

The design could be similar to those in Habitat’s recently completed 13-home community in Scarborough, which are energy efficient and have total utility costs of about $120 each month, according to Habitat. Development of an eight-home project in South Portland has been slated for later this year.

The informational session explains the home ownership program, its requirements and how to apply. More information is available by calling 772-2151 or emailing [email protected].

The Greater Portland Habitat, which has built 91 homes in southern Maine since 1985, notifies interested parties when a new build is scheduled. Brake said her list of potential applicants has more than 200 families in Cumberland and York counties.

Habitat screens all candidates regarding housing need, willingness and evidence of ability to both help build the home and afford a home – hence a minimum annual gross income requirement of at least $30,000. More information on guidelines is available at habitatportlandme.org.

“Habitat is a great partner organization supporting the provision of a range of housing options for those in the Midcoast region,” said Debora Keller, executive director of Bath Housing. She added that home prices in her area, where Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine operates, “continue to outpace incomes for many families, and Habitat has been instrumental in facilitating homeownership for families that may not have been otherwise able to buy a home.”

Once the home is completed, Habitat will sell it to the chosen family through affordable financing. The family must put 275 “sweat equity” hours into the construction.

“At Habitat for Humanity, sweat equity is a new homeowner investing in their home or one for another family,” habitat.org explains. “It’s not a form of payment, but an opportunity to work alongside volunteers who give their time to bring to life a family’s dream of owning a home.”


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