2006-09-08 / Community

Maintenance Training Program Comes To Rockaway

Low, Moderate Income Homeowners Eligible

The Housing Partnership, one of the nation's largest producers of affordable housing, announced today that it will sponsor an innovative, free public home maintenance training and repair program for low and moderate income homeowners in southeast Queens. Offered in partnership with Margert Community Corporation, the local non-profit housing agency, the program is funded principally by donations from Benjamin Beechwood, LLC, the Briarwood Organization and HIP Health

Plan of New York.

The program, offered to low and moderate income families, was developed by the Housing Partnership to assist homeowners with after-purchase maintenance of their home investment. It is expected that many of the students will be single mothers, a group that will especially benefit from the program. Classes will be limited to 20 persons in order to maximize the learning experience. The course will be taught by Walter Mullins, a professional home repair expert.

Housing Partnership President and CEO Dan Martin said, "Many homeowners simply cannot afford to hire contractors. Others feel threatened because they have heard accounts of shoddy or downright criminal home repair scams. This course will provide enrollees with a skill set for home repair work and preventative maintenance - to accomplish smaller jobs and to recognize the amount of work, and estimate the actual cost, involved in a contracted job."

The eight weekly, two-hour sessions will be held at a custom-fabricated workshop "set" built within the St. Gertrude's gymnasium at 307 Beach 37 Street.

Constructed by The Briarwood Organization with assistance from apprentice trainees recruited through the Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, the workshop will be divided into sections that include kitchen and bath plumbing modules, electrical wiring installations, easy-to-do energy efficiency measures, drywall surfaces and flooring areas. Work benches will be provided for students. Each participant also will receive Dare to Repair , a textbook provided by its publisher Harper and Collins.

Martin added, "We are committed to maintaining the housing that we proudly helped to develop throughout Queens over the past 24 years. We are eager to provide these essential skills to homeowners to help them maintain their investments."

The program is "hands-on" and provides instruction highlighting basic tool skills, hanging objects on walls and ceilings, molding installation, plumbing fixtures and repairs, electricity safety tips, repairs and installations, drywall and energy efficiency upgrades, painting and wallpapering.

The Housing Partnership expects to expand and replicate this pilot program throughout New York City.

The Housing Partnership serves as New York City's primary intermediary for development of new, affordable homeownership housing on both public and private sites. And as a partner in fulfilling Mayor Bloomberg's housing plan, the Housing Partnership works with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to produce about 1,200 affordable housing units each year.

The Housing Partnership's mission is to create affordable homes and revitalize neighborhoods through community development promoted by a dynamic partnership involving the public and private sectors. Established in 1982 by David Rockefeller and the Partnership for New York City, The Housing Partnership has developed more than 18,500 new affordable units and completed 8,000 renovations of rental apartments. The Housing Partnership's developments have leveraged more than $2 billion in private sector financing in over 50 neighborhoods.

Margert Community Corporation administers federal, state and city housing programs to assist low and moderate income tenants and homeowners in the NYC metropolitan area.

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