SOMERSET, NJ - Mayor Phil Kramer, and Councilwoman At-Large Shanel Robinson helped a future Franklin Township family break ground on a new home, just before the holiday season. 

The ceremony took place on Nov. 18 at the site of the Wadie family new home on Delmonico Avenue, thanks to the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) program. 

“This home will mean so much to my family. We will have room for our children to grow and live in a great community," Nema Ashraf said. "We’re so grateful to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and everyone who will help us make this dream come true.” 

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Nema and Ashraf Wadie and their four children currently live in a small, two-bedroom apartment. 

Celebrating with the Wadie Family was a group of Somerset County and Franklin Township representatives and community members. RVHFH Board Member, Nuno Barboza of Johnson & Johnson, kicked off the ceremony and welcomed the attendees. 

“Franklin Township is dedicated to supporting affordable housing," Kramer said. "The township has exceeded its affordable housing requirement by over 20 percent, and we are proud of what we’re accomplishing.”

“I’m here as a neighbor, as well as a councilwoman to support you and work for you," Robinson said. "We look forward to inviting you to our annual block party and having you join our neighborhood.”

RVHFH representatives were also in attendance to show support.   

“We welcome the Wadie Family and look forward to seeing them receive the keys to their new home," Director of the County’s Community Development Office, Kimberly Cowart said. 

The Wadie's also had spiritual and faith-based support during the event. 

Father John Rizkalla of St. Mary and Athanasius Church, the Wadie’s home church, blessed the site and the volunteers and staff who will build the home.

Sponsors of this home build include the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Program, the Somerset County Homelessness Trust Fund, The Lowell Johnson Foundation, The PSE&G Foundation, Investors Bank, and countless individual donors, local businesses and civic and faith-based organizations.

Throughout the year, the Wadie Family will work side-by-side with community volunteers to complete construction on their home. RVHFH will subsidize a significant portion of the purchase price of the home and extend an affordable mortgage, reducing the family’s monthly housing expenses by approximately 30 percent. The Wadie’s can then build financial stability by putting their discretionary income towards savings, their children’s education, and investing in opportunities to build a brighter future.

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. In the past 25 years, RVHFH has built 50 homes in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Raritan Valley Habitat’s vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. To learn more visit www.rvhabitat.org or call 908-704-0016.

TAPinto Franklin Township is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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