One month ago the vacant lot at 49-55 Rock St. in the city’s Acre neighborhood was just that — vacant.
Today, two foundations sit on the site. The land was donated by the city to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, who is working to build two duplexes on the parcel, providing home ownership opportunities for four families.
According to Habitat Construction Manager Scott Carpenter, the mild weather and cooperation of the city’s Building department have made it possible to complete the foundations before the ground freezes.
The contractor did hit some ledge (it’s not called Rock Street for nothing), which slowed them down briefly, but they worked through it. Drainage and the driveway should be put into place next week.
The Rock Street project furthers the city’s vision for the continued revitalization of the Acre neighborhood, which has been ongoing for 15 years. It is the first project Habitat has done in Lowell since the construction of three duplexes on Harmony Way in the city’s Back Central neighborhood in 2004.
“It is the build of a house, the build of a home, the build of a family, the build of a community,” Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell Executive Director Brenda Gould said at the October 25 groundbreaking. “When a family thrives a neighborhood thrives and the community is strengthened.”
The organization has built 24 homes in the region since 1991 in Bedford, Billerica, Reading, Westford and Lowell.
Those chosen to own the homes are not given them for free; they are granted and must pay back a 0% 30-year mortgage. Applicants are vetted to determine they do have a steady income and are required to invest 400 hours of sweat equity in building their home.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, visit http://lowellhabitat.org/