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Hamilton, NJ – The Foundation for Housing (FFH) announces the award of two $10,000 grants for projects that will help fulfill the Foundation’s mission of supporting housing in New Jersey – one for accessibility and one for energy efficiency. The grants’ recipients will receive their ceremonial checks during a presentation at the New Jersey Builders Association’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting, taking place Tuesday morning, April 13, 2010 at Caesars Atlantic City during the Atlantic Builders Convention.

The FFH issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November 2009 for two grants of up to $10,000 a piece to help fund projects that will increase accessibility and improve energy efficiency. The accessibility grant must improve a building’s ease of access and enhance safety for its occupants, while the energy efficiency grant must enhance a building’s efficiency and lower its related operating costs. Respondents were challenged to leverage in-kind donations and services in order to realize maximum benefit.

The Foundation is pleased to announce the following grant recipients: Accessibility – Charles Kojeski/Kojeski Construction of Voorhees, NJ; and Energy Efficiency – Glen Lumia/Creative Design Construction and Remodeling of Northvale, NJ. Additional information about each of these projects follows.

According to Foundation for Housing Chair, Bill Asdal of Asdal Builders, LLC, “The Foundation for Housing received a number of worthy proposals. After careful consideration, we selected those proposals that mirrored the Foundation’s mission and had the most significant impact on their ultimate beneficiaries.”

“The fact that we received so many worthy projects demonstrates that the need for assistance throughout New Jersey is real,” shared Asdal. “It is our sincere hope that these grants will not only do real good, but also that they will shed light on the Foundation’s presence as an active participant in addressing such needs within our communities.”

Accessibility Grant
Charles Kojeski, President of Kojeski Construction based in Voorhees, NJ has been selected to receive a $10,000 grant to improve accessibility for a very deserving family whose young daughter has a severe handicap. The Sangataldo family of Medford, NJ has a nine year-old daughter who suffers from Cerebral Palsy; she is in a wheelchair with no ramp to provide safe and easy access to their home.

The Sangataldos converted their garage into a first floor therapy room for their daughter, Maria, and although the insurance company agreed to fund the purchase a new wheel chair, they did not offer the family any assistance for structural changes to the house so that Maria and the 300-pound wheelchair can get safely in and out of the house.

The family’s case worker recommended a covered porch and ramp to the driveway in order to provide a “staging area”, especially during inclement weather, for Maria as she waits for and boards the school bus.

Bids received to build them a front porch and ramp exceeded $20,000. Previous attempts by the family for assistance through the state, various charitable organizations, and the family’s insurance company were denied, and the family had already tapped their home equity doing necessary home interior modifications to accommodate Maria’s needs.

Kojeski learned of the family’s plight and successfully reworked the plans. Together with in-kind donations and the help of volunteers, Kojeski will be able to complete the project for $10,000.

(pictured from left) Charles Kojeski, President of Kojeski Construction in Voorhees, NJ, together with members of the Sangataldo family of Medford, NJ: Andy, Maria, and Gina

Energy Efficiency Grant
Glen Lumia, President of Creative Design Construction and Remodeling in Northvale, NJ is sponsoring the rehabilitation of a the renovation of a three-story, six bedroom home in Garfield, NJ. The home has been purchased, completely gutted, and is in the beginning phases of being renovated for an organization call Zoe’s Place. Zoe’s Place, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by women committed to making a difference in the lives of Bergen County pregnant teens, teen mothers, and their babies.

Zoe’s Place provides a safe home, support services, and opportunities to develop the skills necessary for independence and self-sufficiency. With the help of Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County, and Builders and Remodelers Association of Northern New Jersey (BRANNJ), Zoe’s Place is looking forward to opening the first home of its kind in Bergen County, NJ.

This rehabilitation will feature energy efficiency upgrades that will give maximum return on investment, including an HVAC system that will meet or exceed NJ State Energy standards. Increased energy efficiency will provide Zoe’s Place with lower operating costs thus allowing any funds collected by private donations and special events to be used in more meaningful ways, along with enhancing comfort to the teen mothers and their babies.

In-kind monies from Habitat for Humanity and Zoe’s Place will be made available to supplement the $10,000 grant awarded by the Foundation for Housing.

(pictured from left) Glen Lumia, President of Creative Design Construction & Remodeling of Northvale, NJ, and Bob Preis, Director of Production for Habitat for Humanity, in front of Zoe’s place – a home for teen mothers and their children in Garfield, NJ
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