Giving Back

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity's 51st Partner Family is Coming to Franklin Township

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The Thomas Family breaking ground David Polomski, Construction Manager, Jan Holmstrup, Executive Director, and Meg Helms, Board President. Credits: Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity
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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Tania-sue Thomas recently broke ground on a new home for her and her four children, with the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity organization and community leaders from Franklin Township earlier this month, on March 4.

Thomas is a single mom of four children - Marvin (20), Tavier (16), Tyelur (12), and Tameron (10). She and her three younger children currently live in an apartment in New Brunswick, N.J. The area has a high crime-rate and her children are unable to play outside because they fear for their safety. 

"I am looking most forward to just coming home to a peaceful and quiet neighborhood," Thomas said. "Coming home to my new home with my children feeling safe. Registering them in school and them meeting new friends." 

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Tania-Sue has been a Resource Manager at an engineering firm for 10 years. While providing administrative support to the firm’s engineers, customer service to clients, and supervising eight employees, she has received accolades for her hard work, dedication and follow through. While Thomas has worked hard in her career, her income provides just enough for the basic essentials for her family, and the opportunity to own a home has been beyond her reach until now. 

"As a partner family of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Thomas family will have an affordable mortgage in a safe neighborhood, a stable home environment, with a strong school district in the welcoming community of Franklin Township," Jan Holmstrup, executive director of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity said. 

Thomas found out about the program from her mother who as been a volunteer for RVHFH for years through her company the Peapack-Gladston bank. Thomas asked her mother how to qualify for the program and how to get involved. After learning more about the program Thomas attended a home ownership meeting and became inspired. 

"I am looking forward to feeling a sense of security for my children and myself," Thomas said. "I am looking forward to planting flowers in the yard and just sitting and watching my children play in the backyard." 

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity extends a special thank you to Investors Bank, The Lowell Johnson Foundation, Township of Franklin, Somerset County Community Development Office, US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) HOME Program, and Magic 98.3 for making it all possible. 

Below is a more information on how to become a partner family and how to get involved.

RVHFH works exclusively with low–income families, those who earn 30-50% of median income. In addition to meeting these income guidelines, families must show that they:

  • Currently and for the prior year either living or working in Hunterdon, Somerset, or one of the adjacent counties (Bucks, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Union, and Warren
  • Currently living in inadequate housing or paying rent that is too high
  • Able to afford the repayment of the interest-free mortgage and the utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses
  • Have good work and credit history

After meeting the criteria, candidates follow an extensive two-phase process of submitting paperwork. Then finalists are chosen by our Family Selection Committee. Families are then chosen by the municipality lottery. We are in the final stages of the selection process now and will add two more families (in Franklin Township) later this Spring. More information can be found here: http://www.rvhabitat.org/home-ownership-2/criteria/ or emailing info@rvhabitat.org or calling 908-704-0016x18

We're always looking for volunteers both on the home builds and in the office behind the scenes. The program is driven by volunteer committees, so whether someone wants to help with the family selection process, help plan and execute an event or help out with a mailing, there's a place for everyone. Details on that can be found here: http://www.rvhabitat.org/get-involved/ or email info@rvhabitat.org. or call 908-704-0016 x18

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