Home for the Holidays in 3D — A Habitat First Celebrated in Newport News
Two weeks before Christmas, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg dedicated a pair of innovative Habitat homes constructed in the southeastern section of Newport News to families who became first-time homeowners.
On the sunny morning of Dec. 12, 2023, the two mothers who will move into their recently completed houses that sit side by side in Newport News were overcome with gratitude to the village it took to achieve such a milestone, one of several for the local Habitat affiliate that continues to be a leader in championing housing affordability.
The new homeowners are both single mothers — Corrine, a clinical lab assistant with a 12-year-old-daughter, and Sierra, an Army veteran with two children who works as a case manager. They represent two of seven families selected from a pool of 250 applications received by the local Habitat office last year. Both women had to meet all of the requirements outlined in the first-time Habitat Homebuyer Program, including maintaining steady credit, participating in financial literacy classes and volunteering at least 300 sweat equity hours.
“This does not mean a little bit to me; this means the whole world to me,” said Sierra, approved to buy a home the third time she applied to Habitat.
Wiping tears, Corrine thanked everyone in attendance, saying, “I really appreciate all of you.”
Multiple Habitat community partners contributed to the special day that concluded with a ribbon-cutting in front of each house. Newport News Shipbuilding sponsored both homes, marking the 20th and 21st times the shipyard has sponsored Habitat homes since 2002.
Newport News Shipyard President Jennifer Boykin congratulated both families, adding, “This is the first time we’ve sponsored two homes simultaneously. I’m very proud of the 25,000 men and women, some of whom work just down the street, including a lot of first-time volunteers.”
Boykin paid tribute to the late Matthew McQuade, who worked for 32 years at the shipyard before his passing in June 2022. He was a tireless Habitat volunteer. “It was an honor to build these two homes in his memory,” Boykin said. “Welcome home, Corrine and Sierra! This is just one of the countless memories that you will create and share in your new homes.”
BayPort Credit Union co-sponsored one of the homes.
“BayPort is proud to be here. We look forward to supporting many more to come,” said its CEO/President Jim Mears. “At BayPort, we understand that having access to affordable housing is essential to helping our local community. In addition to our financial literacy outreach, we also work to improve overall wellness in our communities.”
Newport News Mayor Phillip D. Jones, a former member of the Habitat Board of Directors, was also in attendance.
“Habitat for Humanity and partners like Newport News Shipbuilding and BayPort Credit Union are integral to the transformation that is taking place in communities throughout our city,” he said. “As we focus our efforts on empowering and uplifting residents and ensuring they have the quality of life they deserve, we will continue to leverage the innovation, creativity and dedication of these partners.”
Both homes are energy-efficient, sustainable and nearly indestructible as the first 3D printed Habitat homes ever built in Newport News.
Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority donated land for the homes. Ferguson Enterprises donated the plumbing supplies and fixtures. CVP Windows & Doors donated all the windows and doors. Alquist 3D printed the 3D walls using a printer from Black Buffalo 3D. Habitat also partnered with Alquist 3D to complete the first-ever 3D printed Habitat house in the nation, dedicated in Williamsburg in December 2021.
Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, reinforced that Habitat homes are sold, never given away.
“Every single Habitat homebuyer repays the no-interest monthly mortgage back to our Habitat affiliate. We recycle those funds to build even more homes for these hardworking families. That meets Habitat’s objective to give a hand-up, not a handout.”
Twelve families were served through Habitat’s Homebuyer Program in 2023.