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Habitat for Humanity to begin work on seventh house

ROUSES POINT - Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity is working busily in the village of Keeseville to complete construction of its sixth house in their 10 years of operation. And, wasting no time, they will shortly begin their seventh house on Beverly Drive in the village of Rouses Point.

According to Paul DeDominicas, volunteer coordinator and CVHFH board of directors member, the next home the nonprofit organization will work on is for Laura Lopez, fianc Christopher Welch, and the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Dakota Welch.

The Rouses Point house was made possible thanks largely to donation from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, said DeDomincas, which covered the cost of materials.

"[The employees] are also going to be volunteering ... along with anyone else that wants to help," said DeDominicas. "Another couple, Edward and Beverly Bechard, they donated the land to Habitat."

The location for the house worked out perfectly, said Lopez.

"If it was in Keeseville or anywhere else, we wouldn't have [applied]," said Lopez. "I'm from Beekmantown, [Christopher's] from Rouses Point and he wont live anywhere else. He's lived here his whole life."

Not having enough money to build a house on their own, Lopez and Welch looked into applying for the Rouses Point house back in December.

"They build a house for cost and it's an interest-free mortgage for 30 years," Lopez explained. "In the long run, you're saving $50-60,000 by having it interest-free. Major advantage in my mind."

In order to receive the house, however, DeDominicas said any soon-to-be homeowner of CVHFH must put in hours of "sweat equity."

"They work alongside the volunteers and then ... it's a more affordable mortgage through Habitat that then they can pay back and then that money goes back into the fund and goes to the next house."

Lopez said she was driving to the bowling alley when hearing word she and her family had been chosen for the house.

"I started punching the steering wheel and started screaming 'Yeah!' I was happy," she said. "It was pretty exciting."

As for the Keeseville home, DeDominicas said CVHFH volunteers are working on the 'finishing touches.'"

"Inside things are mainly getting done," DeDominicas explained. "We've got to do a little bit of landscaping outside, that kind of stuff."

For more information about CVHFH, including how to apply, or how to become a volunteer, visit www.cvhfh.com or e-mail DeDominicas at pdedomin@gmail.com.

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