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Working With Habitat Builds Appreciation for Homes

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DURHAM — Edgemont Lane is not what it used to be, and neighbors couldn't be happier. Rundown lots are gone. New homes from Habitat for Humanity are popping up in their place.

Tiffany Cummings, a single mother of two, from New York, put in her 300 hours of sweat equity and thanks to Habitat, she'll be in her new home for Christmas.

"I can't believe it. I'm finally getting my chance to own my own home -- a dream come true," said Cummings. "In any other circumstances it wouldn't be possible."

Durham Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Bob Calhoun is seeing more and more success stories in city neighborhoods that need a boost. He says hands-on ownership is the key.

"If you help raise a roof beam, you're not going to be intimidated by needing to get out a screwdriver and a paint bucket eight years from now, when these homes, like any other, are going to need a little maintenance," Calhoun said.

Giving people a stake in the neighborhood is turning neighborhoods around, said Calhoun.

"There's nothing like owning your home in your neighborhood to foster that interest and concern in your neighborhood that we all would like to have," he said.


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