Emergent Biosolutions Volunteers Tour Project They Helped Build in Gaithersburg (PHOTOS)(VIDEO)

They might be more comfortable with a test tube or a Petri dish but dozens of Emergent BioSolutions employees took to hammers, caulking guns and paint brushes to help build Habitat for Humanity’s newest project in Gaithersburg.

The project called Maple Hill off Emory Grove Road includes 19 homes , the largest project in the local Habitat for Humanity Metro MD history, according to Caitlin Atkins, volunteer coordinator for the nonprofit. A 24-unit project was built in Burtonsville but that project was constructed in two phases.

Construction on the townhouse community began last October and new homeowners are expected to move in a few weeks.  The homeowners will pay from $950 to $1,250 per month including mortgage, homeowners’ association dues and taxes for the homes. The purchase prices range between $200,000 and $300,000 depending on income levels. They are appraised at $360,000, according to Atkins.

Emergent Biosolutions of Rockville donated three days of company time and about 20 employees each day to help build the project, Michael Mann, senior manager for commercial operations told MyMCMedia Thursday. That equates to about $10,000 worth of in-kind service, Atkins said. The company also donated $10,000 in cash for the project. It’s all part of the company’s GIVE project–give, invest, volunteer in emergent communities.

“We try to find ways to help out our communities and Habitat seemed like an amazing opportunity,” Mann said.

Volunteers at Maple Hill helped construct a retaining wall, framed walls and caulked tiles as well as other duties. The future homeowners also must volunteer 200 to 500 hours on the project in order to buy the home.

Habitat purchased the property for $900,000 demolishing two homes Atkins said were dilapidated on the site. The property was annexed into the City of Gaithersburg enabling 19 townhomes to be built on site. Habitat was exempt from paying impact fees of about $500,000 because it is a nonprofit, Atkins said. The total cost of the project is $5 million.

The homes are three bedrooms and two and 1/2 baths including a garage. About 180 families applied to purchase the townhomes at Maple Hill.  Selected homeowners were interviewed by Habitat officials who also evaluated their current living conditions and needs. Habitat follows HUD guidelines for low-income eligibility.


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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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