On the morning before the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy's devastating impact on Long Island, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman James Darcy, joined by Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, put ceremonial shovels into the ground with the proud, new owners of a soon-to-be-built affordable home in the storm-battered community of Inwood.
A symbol of rebirth in the Sandy-impacted community, the house under construction on Monroe Street will soon be the home of the McHale family, one of five lucky winners at Hempstead Town's Affordable Homes Lottery in July. Robert and Kimberly McHale, parents of five children, live in the tight confines of a second-floor apartment in neighboring Lawrence. Through the town's Affordable Homes program, the McHales will soon move into a brand new, spacious home in Inwood. The house's price tag is a fraction of the market rate of similar homes in the community.
"The McHale family is now achieving the American dream of home ownership," stated Murray. "Breaking ground on new affordable homes in Inwood is emblematic of the community's recovery and renewal from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy."
"I congratulate this well-deserving family and wish them a future of happiness in their new home," Darcy said. "For a community that's still recovering from Sandy, these new homes are an encouraging sign of the future."
In addition to the home on Monroe Street, three other affordable homes will be located on Walcott Avenue and one on Jeanette Avenue. The 1,715 square foot homes, constructed by Anray Custom Builders, feature three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, dining room, kitchen, living room, laundry room, utility room and a one-car garage. The homes will be sold for $172,000.
To commemorate the special moment, Murray presented the McHales with the "Seeds of Rebirth," a gardening kit complete with a wheelbarrow, seeds, bulbs to symbolize the family's new future and the post-Sandy renewal of the Inwood community. The gardening gift package was donated by Lowe's of Garden City.
Future homeowners Robert and Kimberly McHale will be able to plant those seeds and bulbs in the yard they have dreamt of for years, an outdoor oasis for their children and relatives to enjoy for years to come. "I always envisioned a yard as a place for the kids to be able to go out and play," said Kimberly, who grew up in Inwood and is excited to return to her roots.
For the McHales, that vision will soon be a reality.
"As singer and actress Debby Boone once famously said, 'Dreams are the seeds of change . . . Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream'," Murray said. "Today, we present the seeds of rebirth for not only the McHales, who achieved the American dream, but for the entire Inwood community in this period of recovery and renewal."