The Stuff Of Dreams: Habitat For Humanity Dedicates Two Homes

Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, Affordable Homes, Housing, Habitat Cape Cod

WEST CHATHAM – About a year and two months after volunteers raised the walls of their new homes, two families are the newest residents of West Chatham, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod.

In a ceremony Monday afternoon, friends, volunteers and supporters dedicated the homes at 19 and 25 George Ryder Road South, two parcels of land purchased by the town’s affordable housing trust in 2015.

“Chatham is an extremely generous community,” Habitat Executive Director Wendy Cullinan told the gathering. In addition to purchasing the land for $175,000, the town provided $90,000 in construction funds through the Community Preservation Act. Local volunteers contributed much of the labor, local businesses donated goods and supplies, and local philanthropists gave generously to make the projects possible. That giving spirit is something to be proud of, Cullinan told the assembly. “That’s what makes you a good human being.”

“Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for giving us this beautiful home,” said Donna Sutherland, who will live in the larger of the two houses with her husband Craig, their daughter Rihanna, and Donna’s father, Clinton. “I applied three times, never stopped trying.” She thanked the volunteers, and particularly Nancy and Bill Erskine, whose large donation made the build possible. Longtime Habitat supporters, the Erskines have both passed away since their gift, but their generosity lives on, she said. “It’s making a dream come true,” Sutherland said.

“It’s still not real,” said Angie Babes-Deal, who will live in the other home with her two daughters, Ileana and Alexa. Standing on the porch of their new home, the family gave thanks to the many people who joined them in working on their homes through Habitat.

Both families were required to invest a certain number of hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their homes, and each also spent time working on their neighbor’s house. Both families will now begin paying a mortgage and will own their houses, which will remain affordable in perpetuity because of a deed restriction. The homes are energy efficient and equipped with solar panels and heat pump heating systems.

“It’s just been surprise after surprise, blessing after blessing,” Babes-Deal said. Her home was underwritten by the Geffken Family Trust, which decided to contribute after reading a newspaper article about a similar donation for a Habitat house in Orleans.

Joining a long list of businesses that supported the construction projects was Hyannis-based KAM appliances, which donated all of the appliances for both homes, and has committed to doing so for every new Habitat home on Cape Cod.

Many of the volunteers at Monday’s dedication had taken a break from working at Habitat’s current project underway in Brewster. Learn more at

Article by Alan Pollock from The Cape Cod Chronicle.