Habitat at work on 25th McHenry County home

Woodstock mom: Rehabbing future house ‘very emotional’

McHENRY – Her home has been torn down to the concrete slab, exterior walls and roof, but Kelly Lockman still beams when she talks about it. 

She and her two teenage children have been selected to receive the 25th house built – or in this case, completely rehabbed – by Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County. 

Lockman was on-site working Saturday as her future home was starting to come together. 

“It’s very emotional. This is an opportunity I would not have had if not for Habitat,” she said. “I start crying every time I think about it.”

The inside of the 850-square-foot house on Home Avenue in McHenry doesn’t have any walls yet, but Lockman can already visualize what it will become. She pointed out where each of the three bedrooms will be, the bathroom, and the kitchen – which will be complete with a dishwasher. 

“I told my daughter we’re going to turn it on and just listen to it run,” Lockman said. 

Lockman’s son has epilepsy and she found out about the program through social service agency Options & Advocacy.

Until Habitat for Humanity stepped in, home ownership was something she never thought would have been possible for her, she said. 

“Being a single mom, I couldn’t afford to rent anymore in the county,” said Lockman, who is a bus driver and currently lives in a Woodstock duplex.  

Habitat families are required to put in “sweat equity” hours – 250 for each adult and 75 for each child age 16 or older, said site supervisor Susan Braun.

The owners do have a mortgage payment, but it is zero interest. 

Lockman’s home, which was donated by Bank of America, is the first to be rehabbed rather than built new. 

Previous builds had been done through grants that required new construction, but the rehabs are significantly less expensive, sometimes saving nearly $20,000 in costs such as permits and impact fees, Braun said.

Lockman hopes to move into her home between mid-March or early April, only about five months since the last family moved into their Habitat home. 

In November, Beth Colin and her family moved into the 24th house built by Habitat, also located in McHenry. 

Although she completed all her sweat equity hours to fulfill her obligations to the organization, Colin had a hammer in her hand Saturday and continues to volunteer regularly. 

“I want to,” Colin said. “The new family supported us, so we would like to support them in turn. It just becomes kind of a family, and it’s a good opportunity for fellowship.”

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