Thanks to a grant from the Wells Fargo Builds program, RT-AFF completed repairs for three families in Alexandria in the Audubon Community of manufactured homes. The Wells Fargo Builds program provides philanthropic financial support for the construction, renovation and repair of homes for low-to-moderate income households. Nationally, Wells Fargo donated $1.25 million to Rebuilding Together. Since 2010, Wells Fargo has donated more than $16 million to Rebuilding Together and its affiliate network and last year RT affiliates collaborated with Wells Fargo to repair 100 homes.
Manufactured homes, sometimes called mobile homes, are an important source of affordable housing in our expensive housing market. Our team met the Audubon Community property manager when our volunteers built a wheelchair ramp for another homeowner. The property manager was delighted to learn about Rebuilding Together and introduced us to the homeowners in dire need of repairs, and she made our job easier by arranging for disposal of trash and old appliances.
All three of the homes we worked on were over 35 years old and in need of deep repairs, including roof repairs. Our first priority was making the homes watertight. Wells Fargo’s grant allowed us to hire a roofing contractor to repair and seal the roofs on all three homes.
Mr. And Mrs. C’s home was built in 1976 and the kitchen floor was badly deteriorated and about to collapse. Our volunteer team removed multiple layers of flooring, including ceramic tile, to get to the root of the problem. They secured failing joists, replaced missing insulation and the subfloor, and then installed underlayment and finally a durable vinyl plank floor. They replaced the stove, a kitchen cabinet, and installed a range hood with an exhaust fan vented outside to keep the air clean in their small home. The couple now feels safe in their home and embraced by the kindness of our volunteers.
Bill Marshall, the volunteer team leader for the project said, “Mr. C just loved his new kitchen floor and range hood, and all the repairs we made. His happy eyes from beneath his mask and his multiple “thank yous,” after just having returned from a chemo session, reminded me of how blessed I am, and how much enjoyment I get from giving back to neighbors in need like Mr. and Mrs. C.”
The second homeowner we helped was Ms. T. who has chronic health problems and had lost her job at a nearby Senior Center due to the pandemic. Ms. T loves to cook but her kitchen had no cabinets, countertops, sink or working stove. The grant from Wells Fargo and the work done by our volunteers was truly a gift to Ms. T. Our team of volunteers and staff installed cabinets, countertops and a sink with a garbage disposal. They installed a new range and a stove-top vent to keep the air clean from cooking grease and odors. The team also installed a grab bar in the bathroom, repaired the wooden stairs, and replaced the clothes dryer and vented it safely outside. Ms. T now has a fully functioning kitchen and can safely age in place in her modest home. Here’s part of Ms. T’s survey:
Erick and Mirna are a young couple expecting their first child. Erick had been tirelessly working to rehab their mobile home. It was constructed in 1982 and the couple pulled together all their resources and had hands-on help from family and friends, but money was tight, and they could not afford to finish repairs. With their first child arriving soon, they desperately needed a functioning kitchen. Erick had already purchased kitchen cabinets and he worked alongside our volunteers to tackle some of the interior repairs. Our team finished installing the cabinets and installed a garbage disposal, stove, microwave, and kitchen exhaust fan. The team also installed drywall in another room of the home. We are awaiting delivery of a replacement window that will help make it easier for Erik and Mirna to heat and cool their small home.
Erick wrote to us, “I have a kitchen again and I can cook for my family! Thank you for your team. They are all good people. And thank you for your time, and for your dedication for helping others.”