The Access Community Action Agency has welcomed Habitat for Humanity - Windham Area to their offices at 1315 Main St. in Willimantic. Access is able to support the important work of Habitat by providing office space rent free and use of a large conference room for meetings. In addition, partnering families working with Habitat towards home ownership can benefit from the services Access provides.

Access welcomes this opportunity to partner with the local Habitat for Humanity program. Peter DeBiasi, the Access president/CEO said, "Habitat has a mission that connects well to the Access mission, which is to create opportunities that empower people and communities to achieve and sustain economic stability. Affordable housing is one of the key factors that contribute to family economic stability and the quality of life in our community."

The Windham affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is operated entirely by volunteers, with no paid staff. "The national organization requires affiliates to maintain office space, which is a particular challenge for smaller affiliates," says Windham Habitat Board President Peter Bachiochi. All of the organization's resources go directly towards their work in the community, with no budget for the cost of renting an office.

Habitat for Humanity - Windham Area is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those partner families at no profit and with a zero-interest mortgage.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor - "sweat equity" - into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses. The Windham Area affiliate's current project is the construction of a Windham home on Tower Road for a family of three.

The Access Community Action Agency is the federal and state designated anti-poverty agency for Windham and Tolland Counties. Access provides supplemental food, emergency shelter, energy assistance, energy conservation services, job and life skills training, youth mentoring, group homes, senior housing and more for low-income families and individuals. For more information about Access' services, call 860-450-7400 in the Willimantic area, 860-412-1600 in the Danielson area, or visit http://www.accessagency.org. For more information about Habitat for Humanity - Windham Area, visit http://www.windhamhabitat.org or call 860-423-7142.