Last week we introduced you to Karen Johnson, who heads up our Family Advocacy team. In this week's video we share some of the services we provide residents as they invest back into the neighborhood.
Undergoing full scale renovations and major home repair can be a very complex matter. EBDI Family Advocates are there to help make the process as simple and accessible as possible for residents while making sure the contractor's work is held to the highest standards.
Here's John Hubbard, Family Advocate/ Client Coordinators, putting this in his own words:
“Here at EBDI we want to make sure that people have a place that they consider a home. So we want to be sure that it's safe and up to the standard that any one of us would want to live there.”
"Once people move into their new house - that's actually just the beginning. As anyone knows when things need to be repaired or when problems arise, there are certain things that could come up. We work directly with the clients as their first point of contact. We do a lot of in-between with contractors and our construction coordinator, to make sure our residents’ home life is good, comfortable and happy."
Over the past several years Joseph Welkie has done a fantastic job working with EBDI as a construction coordinator, starting with the 855 N. Wolfe Street - Science & Technology Park - John G. Rangos Sr. Building. He now works directly with home owners and the EBDI team to develop bid documents that fit all of the home buyers’ needs and specifications, which are then used to select the appropriate contractor.
Joseph highlights some of the home buyers’ needs and the process they go through purchasing a new home:
" Some of the owners had elderly parents, they needed handicap accessibility … some residents didn't. We would take all that information and build a program that worked for their individual needs.
"Once the bids came in, the owners would then tour with the contractors to decide who they wanted to work with. Once they chose a contractor, I would work them along with EBDI and the contractor, to work out a design that best fit their needs. We would then follow up with the contractor during the course of the construction to make sure that things were being put in with accordance to the documents."
Ethel Burris, a lifelong resident, jokes about how Joe had to help design the layout of her beautiful new home:
" I told Joe I don't know anything about building a house. All I cared about was having my living room painted this color and that my cabinets be dark brown. I could pick out anything I wanted but this is all I cared about. Joe did a good job," she said.
Homeownership is one of the core aspects to building a community. It's this investment that nurtures a sense of pride that had gone missing after decades of neglect. We understand all of the frustrations that can occur along the way and are fully committed to working hard to provide residents with the tools to make their home ownership as simple and manageable as possible.
Thank you for reading this week’s email. We hope you will enjoy the video and look forward to sharing more stories about families working with our Family Advocates as they return to East Baltimore.
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