ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo on Friday welcomed three families to town as Morris Habitat for Humanity celebrated the completion of a 6-unit condominium building on Main Street in Succasunna.
The homes are situated on property that formerly housed a township Department of Public Works building. The township donated the land to the non-profit organization.
The mayor told the new residents he is confident they will enjoy living in Roxbury. He mentioned the township’s history, churches, schools, parks, first-responders and facilities, but had special praise for the good-heartedness of its people.
“I think you’ll find our residents are among the most generous and giving people you will ever meet,” DeFillippo told the families. “Time after time, Roxbury’s residents have risen to help each other in times of need. No one needs to ask; volunteers just show up, donations begin to pour in, food, clothing and other necessities get delivered. Roxbury is a caring community.”
Just in Time for Christmas
Closings on the mortgages are scheduled to take place Dec. 20 and the new owners will be moving in shortly afterward, said Morris Habitat for Humanity CEO Blair Schleicher Bravo. The second, 6-unit structure is expected to be finished around this time next year, she said.
Ground was broken for the project in October 2018. When finished it will be the largest project in Morris Habitat for Humanity’s 34-year history, according to the non-profit organization.
Relying on donations of money and labor, Habitat for Humanity provides homes to families with limited incomes. The homes are sold to people who win a lottery and pass a screening process. Those selected must invest a significant amount of time helping contractors build the homes.
The occupants of the first six units at the Succasunna site are, according to Morris Habitat biographies:
- Nicole and Daniel Pope and their three daughters under the age of three. Daniel Pope is a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and now works as an office equipment repair technician. Nicole was a teacher, is now staying at home to raise the children.
- Heather Seelinger, a high school secretary who has a 19-year-old son who is a student and volunteer football coach.
- Mariell Guridy Baez, who works as an assembler for electrical components and has an 18-year-old daughter who is a full-time student.
- Farina Salim Jones, who works in a hospital film library and lives with her 14-year-old daughter.
- Jonathan and Guia De La Torre, who have a 3-year-old son. Jonathan is an optical technician for a manufacturing company.
- Julio Damelines and Adriana Obregon and their three daughters. Julio works as a truck driver for a concrete company and Adriana works part-time in maintenance.
According to Morris Habitat, the families contributed 2,786 hours of “sweat equity” into helping build their new homes.
“Basically, we were looking for affordable housing,” said Nicole Pope prior to the ceremony. She said she learned about Habitat for Humanity from a friend who is living in a Morris Habitat home in Mine Hill. “We applied and did our sweat equity and here we are today.”
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