A large crowd filled the newest Habitat for Humanity home for a dedication at 11 Harvester Ave. in Batavia this morning.
The home will be occupied by Herb Neal, his mother, Barbara, and his two sons, Christopher, 13, and Matthew, 10.
Neal says, "Moving in here will give my family the fresh start that we need."
Jessica Maguire Tomidy, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Genesee County, says the home is the 11th project for Habitat for Humanity in the county, the 7th home in the City of Batavia.
Work on the Harvester Avenue house started in May of 2013. Hundreds of volunteers from all over WNY put in over 10,000 volunteer hours to make the renovations happen. The Neals will move into their new home March 16th.
Maguire Tomidy says the home was in very bad shape when they purchased it from the city. There were dead cats and dead squirrels inside and the remains of a dog in the backyard. The last time it was occupied was in 2007.
In under 10 months, Habitat for Humanity was able to identify a family with a need and put the property back on the city's tax rolls.
"It was not without a lot of resources, volunteer hours, energy and a lot of love, Maguire Tomidy said. "People have to have it in their hearts to help, and they do it again and again for us."
Habitat for Humanity paid the city about $2,000 for the Harvester Avenue parcel, according to City Manager Jason Molino, who says the renovation has increased its assessed value by about 35-38 percent.
"A renovated home and a new family add many benefits to a neighborhood and they contribute to the City's revitalization effort," Molino said.
Habitat for Humanity is currently rehabilitating another home at 2 McKinley Ave. and it will be completed and ready for another family by the end of the year.
Father James Fugle blesses the Neal home on Harvester Avenue.