Elizabeth City

Volunteers put in place the final wall of the new Elizabeth City Habitat for Humanity house under construction at 913 5th St., Elizabeth City, Friday, July 10. The 22 volunteers included seven city firefighters and seven city police officers.

Elizabeth City Habitat for Humanity has received a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to help the nonprofit complete its construction of an affordable home in Elizabeth City.

The grant will support construction of a new home at 913 Fifth Street for Shannon Crifaci and her children, Habitat’s new partner family, a press release states.

Crifaci and her children were selected for the new home and have been working to complete their “sweat equity” requirement during the home’s construction.

Habitat began building the Crifacis’ home last month and were making good progress, according Jane Elfring, the local Habitat chapter’s vice president. Progress has slowed, however, while the chapter awaits delivery of the home’s windows later this month.

“This has been a challenging build for us with cost overruns and then COVID-19,” said Mike Valladares, Elizabeth City Habitat for Humanity’s co-president. “This grant will help us complete this project in a timely manner. We look forward to more partnerships with Wells Fargo in the future.”

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is about 1,200 square feet and is being built between two occupied Habitat homes in the 900 block of Fifth Street.

One feature of the house Elfring is proud of is how energy efficient it will be. For example, the walls will have six inches of space between the interior and exterior sides. That means much more room for insulation than average homes, where the width between walls is about 3½ inches, she said.

The home will have energy-efficient appliances and using pre-assembled materials helped to reduce construction waste, according to Elfring.

“It really is a ‘green’ building,” she said in a previous interview.

Elfring said the new home will be a “huge step up” for Crifaci and her family. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Crifaci was working two jobs. She then lost both jobs and went weeks without work until landing two new jobs in early June, Elfring said.

Elfring has said it will likely take another couple of months to complete the home. Habitat has built or rehabbed 10 houses in Elizabeth City since it was incorporated in 1991, including four that were donated by Wells Fargo. In addition, Wells Fargo donated several lots for future construction.

The $15,000 grant is part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $8.1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International to build, renovate and repair more than 350 affordable homes across the U.S. The foundation, through the program Wells Fargo Builds, is committed to create more affordable housing by 2025.

“We have a rich history of working with Habitat for Humanity to strengthen our neighborhoods through philanthropy and volunteerism,” said Thomas Cline, Wells Fargo’s region bank president. “Safe and stable housing is fundamental to a healthy financial future. The Wells Fargo Builds program is another demonstration of our commitment to improve lives and strengthen communities.”