AFFORDABLE HOUSING - HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity
In 1976, Millard and Linda Fuller of Americus, Georgia, assembled a group of supporters to discuss the future of a dream they had. And the result: Habitat for Humanity International was founded. The concept focused on those in need of adequate housing working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable homes.
And now 45 years later families partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. The personal involvement of President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn has done much to raise awareness. Habitat now works in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries. Habitat has helped more than 35 million people achieve stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter.
Islamorada has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys and the results are significant.
Now retired executive director, Jack Niedbalski, has overseen the 16-unit Windley Point Project in Islamorada from day one, when the ground-breaking occurred in the fall of 2018. Jack retired December 31, 2020, just as the project was completed.
The Windley Point project is a unique format for Habitat – 16 units, all two-bedrooms and 2-½ baths, two buildings, a condominium association and a 99-year ground lease with the Village for the property. One unit is a handicap unit with an elevator. Eight units will be leased to eligible families and eight will be sold to local owners. As of the beginning of January, 2021, five families are proud owners with one more scheduled to close soon. Five rentals have been leased with three of the rentals still available. Of the eleven units spoken for, all will be occupied by people who work in Islamorada.
Those who buy the units get bank financing with a second mortgage from Habitat that is forgiven over 30 years. So far, all those who have bought units also got a First-Time Buyers loan from the Village: $10,000 loans with $9,000 forgiven over the first nine years.
Windley Point Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Wednesday,
February 3, 2021
On January 1, 2021, Lindsay Fast steped into the position of executive director that Niedbalski had filled for the last ten years. The two had been working side by side since June so she could learn as much as possible from Niedbalski before his departure.
Lindsay is originally from the state of Indiana, graduated from Ohio State and has an MBA from the University of Miami. She and her husband, David, and daughter, Kennedy, moved to the Keys (Upper Matecumbe) in 2019. Lindsay and her family vacationed in the Keys regularly since she was a young child. She acknowledges that as an adult with a family of her own, she wanted to move here because “Islamorada feels like home.”
Lindsay is thrilled to be working for Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys. She believes in its mission, helping to enhance the sense of community here.