FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County is embarking on its biggest project yet.

For the last twenty years, a row of historic buildings along West All Saints Street has stood vacant and rundown.

“They’re down to the studs inside there so they’re not habitable right now and haven’t been for decades,” explained development and marketing director for Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County, Bethany Miller.

Two of the buildings date back to the late 1800s. The properties are currently owned by the Asbury United Methodist Church but they will be partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County and selling the parcel for what will be the largest affordable housing project the non-profit has ever undertaken.

“We want to turn that into a viable home for a family who can’t afford one in the traditional marketplace. There are plenty of people in our community who are working hard every day and simply can’t reach homeownership because of the cost of our market,” Miller said.  

Thanks to a $325,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the non-profit can now buy the parcel of land.

Plans are to rehabilitate the buildings and construct a new building in between two of the existing structures.

This will create about 12 units of housing that could range from about $150,000 t0 $200,000.

“We’ve seen gentrification on that street where people are being pushed out, and we’d love to have people be able to live there, and keeping the nature of that street which was a blue-collar street pretty much, and an African American community,” explained executive director for Habitat for Humanity, Ron Cramer.

While residents here will own their own homes, the land itself will be entrusted to Habitat for Humanity for the next 99 years. Cramer says that’s a safeguard against the pricey house market.

“We’ve experienced in our housing here in Fredrick County that we’ve built that in five, ten years, our homes go out affordability,” Cramer explained, “That mechanism where it’s a shared equity type of situation helps keep that property affordable for the long-term.”

Habitat for humanity also has plans to create a condominium at the rear of the buildings.

Construction on the project is estimated to begin next year.