EASTON — The neighborhood around Port Street in Easton welcomed new home owners in September with the sale of Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s 67th house.

The duplex unit is part of a five-home infill development by Habitat Choptank. Three homes in a triplex were completed and sold last year to qualifying buyers, according to a news release from the nonprofit homebuilder.

Home 67 was purchased by first time home buyers Tony and Theresa Williams of Easton. Tony Williams works with the Talbot County Health Department and Theresa Williams is employed by Admiral Cleaners.

“This house is special because it is now home for Tony and Theresa, and because of all the people in the community who helped to build it with their time and financial support,” Nancy Andrew, Habitat Choptank executive director, said in the release. “For us as an organization, this house is also a milestone because it’s the first that we’ve sold with the financing provided by an outside lender.”

From the initial house completed in 1992, Habitat Choptank has traditionally served as both the builder and the lender on all of its homes. In these dual capacities, the nonprofit must raise the funds to buy the land and build a home, and then at settlement, provide the home buyer with financing that is paid back over 30 years at zero percent interest.

“As we look ahead to the next 67 homes, we have to consider new ideas while maintaining our commitment to affordability,” Andrew said in the release. “After seeking guidance from Habitat International, we are following a path that has been blazed by other rural Habitat affiliates who have collaborated with their state Rural Development office through the United States Department of Agriculture.”

With this partnership, the Section 502 Direct Loan Program will become the first financing option for buying a Habitat home in Dorchester and Talbot counties. Buyers that do not qualify with USDA will be offered a 30-year Habitat mortgage. Proceeds from the USDA closings will be leveraged with local donations and grants to build and rehabilitate more homes for qualifying buyers.

Currently, five families are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward the goal of becoming successful home owners. Applications for home ownership are accepted year round. For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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