The construction of the multi apartment building for the 12 families currently living in metal containers in Vanadzor city, Taron 3rd district, is already completed. The Millard Fuller Legacy Build honoring the legacy of Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing, launched a week ago with more than 60 international and local volunteers helping build the homes. Now, everybody celebrated its completion.
37 people will soon move to decent and comfortable homes. There was a lottery and the families picked the number of their apartments after which the homes were blessed.
”These families have been longing for this day, and now, thanks to the genius idea of Millard Fuller, it becomes a reality. And this becomes possible as a result of humanism, unification and the perception of giving a gift by helping others,” said Fuller Center for Housing Armenia President Ashot Yeghiazaryan.
”I can’t express my feelings in words. I still can’t believe it is a reality. It seems I am in a dream and I am afraid of being awaken. It seems we should start our life anew inside the walls of this new apartment. My gratefulness is boundless and it is impossible to describe how happy I am. God Bless all those who gave us a helping hand,” said one of the homeowners of the new building.
The plan to construct new homes in the City of Vanadzor began in 2008 when Steve Lazarian, the president of the Armenian Relief and Development Association (ARDA) and an American-Armenian philanthropist, sought to assist destitute families living in metal containers not due to disaster. The trilateral partnership between ARDA Charitable Foundation, the Vanadzor Municipality, and FCHA mapped out the construction of a new housing community.
This year marks the fifth phase of the partnership, with 65% of the financial investment provided as a gift from the ARDA Charitable Foundation and 24% provided by the Vanadzor Municipality. The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia made an 11% investment in the form of a long-term, interest-free mortgage loan. The fifth phase cost is a total of 83.3 million AMD.
”When we started this project we could not even think that after 8 years we will have such a complete district. In Vanadzor people already call it ARDA District. This is possibly the best evaluation given to us by the people. From the very beginning of the project I dreamed of finding more investors for the project. In this phase it became a reality too. We have ”Little Bridge” NGO joined us with the investment of 90,000 euro thus ensuring the continuity of the program, I am sure that this kind of sincere and honest partnership will give opportunity to more of our compatriots to feel the happiness of having their own homes. This is perhaps a small but a certain way of demonstrating our love towards our country and the feeling that we are the owners of our land,” said Hrahat Stepanyan, ARDA Charitable Foundation Director.
”This phase of the trilateral partnership came to an end to making the happiness possible for the families who have lived in desperate housing conditions for many years. I congratulate all of us and hope 800 more families living in temporary shelters will also enjoy such happiness one day in their lives,” said Samvel Darbinyan, the mayor of Vanadzor Municipality.
The purpose of this annual, internationally-recognized week of building is to bring attention to the need for simple, decent and affordable housing for every family.
These homes were built using a new technology of polystyrene foam block and local construction materials. The construction started in the spring of 2016. With the addition of the 12-unit apartment complex constructed during the Legacy Build, 67 families have been assisted since 2008 through the trilateral partnership.
«Armenia Tree Project» Charitable Foundation, the longtime partner of the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia, ones again organized tree planting in the yard of the building thus improving and giving green life to the construction site that is already in past.