Habitat for Humanity to build a home in 60 hours

Melido Ferguson, left, and her daughter Sonarah Ferguson.

Typically, building a house can take anywhere from three to six months, but Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County intends to defy the odds by building an entire house in just 60 hours as part of a Homebuilder’s Blitz.

Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County will collaborate with Hunter Quinn Homes to build a new Habitat home in Moncks Corner.

The Blitz will take place from Sept. 16-21 and end with a home dedication ceremony for the new homeowners.

To make building a home in such a short amount of time possible, more than 20 skilled tradespeople working from sunup to sundown will participate. Hunter Quinn Homes will donate the building materials, supplies and hours of labor needed to complete the task.

Will Herring, founder and president of Hunter Quinn Homes, said that this project is important to his company because it is a chance to give back to the community.

“Our team is passionate about providing excellent experiences building homes for our neighbors here in the Charleston market,” Herring said. “At Hunter Quinn Homes, we have such a great group of people, that when we’re given an opportunity to give back to the community that’s so good to us, while also challenging our team, we get really excited about it.

“We’re fortunate that we have the ability to give back, and see this as an opportunity to both do some real good for a family in need, while having a great time with our trade partners,” Herring said. “I’ve always been impressed with the efforts of the habitat organization and have participated in several of these builds in the past. It’s very exciting to be able to participate this time with Hunter Quinn Homes family.”

The Charleston region is facing a lack of affordable housing which, according to local news reports, has caused houses to rise in price, becoming unattainable for the middle-income families who populated this area less than 10 years ago.

Organizations such as the Berkeley County Habitat for Humanity are trying to combat these issues, and George Druyos, CEO and president, said it is important for community members to step in where they can to help ease the burden of increased housing prices in the area.

“It is truly inspirational to witness the giving heart of Will Herring and his team at Hunter Quinn Homes,” Druyos said. “The gift that he and his trade partners are giving will transform the lives of Melido and her family as well as continue to support Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to transform Berkeley County and it’s affordable housing shortage.”

The Family

When Melido Ferguson lost her husband, Parris Ferguson, who she described as a charming, hardworking man who loved his family and his business, to cancer in 2017, she was left with sadness and a newfound responsibility to raise and support her daughter Sonorah on her own.

Then, seemingly by fate, Ferguson stumbled across a flyer in her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, listing dates of upcoming homeownership classes.

Ferguson then began the process of applying for affordable housing through the Berkeley Habitat for Humanity. To qualify for a home, aspiring homeowners must be first-time home buyers with demonstrated need for affordable housing.

Additionally, homeowners must pay the down payment along with monthly mortgage payments made affordable by Habitat for Humanity.

Aspiring homeowners must also agree to a home visit, have decent credit, be working with a steady income, and being willing to put in 350 hours of what they refer to as “sweat equity hours.” This includes working with construction volunteers, at the ReStore, in the community and homeowners education.

Ferguson was approved for the program in March and then nominated to be the Builder Blitz family in June. Five months after being informed that she would have an affordable home built just for her family, Ferguson is “still trying to process everything.” She said she hopes the home will symbolize a new start for her family.

“The new home will benefit us by giving us a fresh new start with a different environment, new school and new friends,” Ferguson said.

For people who may be struggling like her, Ferguson said, “keep your head up, keep working toward what you want. Be patient in the wait and most of all, keep your trust in the Lord and never give up.”