SALEM - The Habitat for Humanity for Northern Columbiana County dedicated the second of three homes built in Salem this year.
Tony Nuzzo and his four children Andrea, 15, Joe, 13, Calista, 11 and Dylan, 10, received the keys for their new home at 509 Franklin Ave. from Habitat board member Dave Bedell Sunday afternoon.
"This is a big, big day," Nuzzo said.
It was a trick or treat that will never be forgotten for the Tony Nuzzo family who moved into their new Habitat for Humanity of Northern Columbiana County home at 509 Franklin Ave. on Halloween. Pictured in front are Andrea, 15, and Joe, 13, while Dylan, 10, and Calista, 11, stand alongside their father. The home, at the corner of Franklin and S. Lundy avenues, has a wide sloping lawn that looks like a challenge to mow. Tony said Joe will be up to it. This is the second of three Habitat houses dedicated in Salem this year. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
His family contributed more that 250 hours of sweat equity to the house.
Nuzzo put in an application in July 2009 and ground was broken on April 15.
"We've been working on it ever since," he said.
Habitat Executive Director Barb Loudon said he was given the option of moving in on Halloween and Tony said the kids will always remember that.
The Nuzzo's pastor, Joe Sheely of Solid Rock Community Church, also took part in the ceremony.
In addition to the sweat equity, families contribute to building another family's home and their own. Families also pay a mortgage payment which includes property taxes and home owners insurance.
What makes the mortgage more affordable is that Habitat is the lender and offers the mortgage at zero percent interest.
The house was the center of attention in July when county, local officials and Habitat representatives joined Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-6) in a visit that highlighted how $1.72 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, specifically targeted into the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), had reached Columbiana and Carroll counties and benefited the house.
The Habitat used its NSP money to remove a house previously located at the address and Habitat President Marti Wendel said the organization then used it's own NSP money to excavate the lot and construct a full basement.
Loudon called the house "challenging" because it is located on a hillside, adding that students from the University of Mount Union, Kent State University in Salem and South Range High School helped along with local people.
"We've taken a lot off the hill," she said, adding the volunteers were "extraordinary."
She added, "This is just a beautiful house. It's a great home."
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org