PHILMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Columbia County Habitat for Humanity announced on Thursday that its next building project will take place in the Village of Philmont, with an expected groundbreaking this spring. The group is planning to build two houses at the same time on separate but adjoining lots on Eagle Street. The houses will be the 26th and 27th built or rehabilitated over the last 30 years by Columbia County Habitat.

“After a pause in new building due to the pandemic, we are excited to be bringing new homeownership opportunities to Columbia County and the Village of Philmont,” says Al Bellenchia, Executive Director and Chief Executive who is marking his second-year anniversary with the organization. “Coming on board during the pandemic and navigating all the restrictions in place was a challenge in itself. Evolving an organization for a successful reboot is familiar territory for me and I am grateful for our committed board members, staff and volunteers who helped focus our vision for the future.”

The organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023 and has expanded its commitment to partnering with hard-working local families in achieving the dream of first-time homeownership. Partner families commit to giving 250 to 300 hours in “sweat equity” in the building of their own homes, on other building and repair projects, and in the ReStore.

“We are excited to partner with the Village of Philmont, and see great potential in a place where more than half the residents are renters, many of whom live in substandard housing or are cost-burdened by soaring lease prices,” continued Bellenchia. “We can see the potential to offer many other opportunities for infilling in this community…and possibly an opportunity for a small development of Habitat homes.”

“All of us on the Village Board are excited for Columbia County Habitat to begin work on the two homes on Eagle Street and about future collaborative projects to improve local housing opportunities in the Village of Philmont,” said Philmont Mayor Brian Johnson. “We’re impressed with Habitat as an organization and their vision for supporting communities like ours, and we look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

The family selection process is now open, and applications are being accepted for the new Philmont houses as well as other upcoming build projects yet to be announced. Interested applicants can call (518) 828-0892 or email for more information. Applications can also be requested or downloaded online.