HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Miller & Smith, and 16 trade partners have put the finishing touches on a $78,000 full renovation of a townhome owned by Cornerstones Housing Corporation (CHC), 100 percent of which was donated. The townhome is part of CHC’s 60-home scattered-site program, which provides housing for very low-income individuals and families in Reston, Herndon, and Centreville.
“This property was pretty much a complete gut job,” said Miller & Smith Vice President of Production Scott Alford. “On CHC’s application it really wasn’t – they didn’t ask for this level of renovation – but when we see a property in rough condition, we don’t feel good about just making surface repairs or simply painting and updating carpet; we want it to last for many more years, using more durable materials and replacing as much as we can with products that are easier to clean and will stay looking great. So instead of carpet, we installed vinyl planking. We also installed hardwoods on the stairs for greater durability.”
Mike LoRusso, project superintendent with Miller & Smith, agreed that transforming the property rather than just giving it a facelift was the right thing to do, adding, “The project has come a long way, and it’s so gratifying to see how this house started and how it looks today, knowing that it will be going to someone who really needs a new beginning. This is the first time I’ve worked on a HomeAid project, and it’s been enormously gratifying.”
Miller & Smith and trade partners also totally renovated all of the bathrooms and the kitchen, checked the roof and mechanical systems, upgraded the electric, replaced the exterior patio, and cleaned up the yard with new sod and landscaping.
“The need is so great – so many need so much – that it’s hard to put into words how much this project means,” said Michael Scheurer, CHC’s executive vice president for housing & community development. “The people in our scattered site program all have incomes below the 30 percent median, and some of the clients moving into homes like this townhouse are coming straight from our shelter. There are a lot of challenges to get them established and stable, but through care managers, goal setting, and careful planning, most usually stay between three and five years before setting off independently. We are thrilled to have another townhome to help another family, and since the management costs of individual homes like this are much higher than in an apartment building, we really rely on this kind of generous assistance to supplement the grants and subsidies we get from the federal government and Fairfax County. Thank you, HomeAid and Miller & Smith!”