- THE MAGAZINE
- CSTD MAGAZINE
SUN VALLEY, CA -- Disbelief is the only word to describe how team members for CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces felt during a recent visit to East Biloxi, MS, which is probably the most damaged area as a result of Hurricane Katrina almost two years ago. CaesarStone has committed to providing quartz countertops for seven model homes that are part of an on-going Architecture for Humanity (AFH) relief effort in the ravaged area. The team flew to Gulf Port to meet the seven families who will soon inhabit the AFH model homes. “As much as 80% of the housing in this low-income community was rendered uninhabitable,” said CaesarStone’s President, Arik Tendler. “It’s now been over a year and a half since the storm, and many of these residents are still living in FEMA trailers. We’re urging other companies in our industry to join relief organizations such as Architecture for Humanity to get these people out of cramped trailers and into homes.” According to Sherry-Lea Bloodworth, Gulf Coast Development Director for Architecture for Humanity, plenty of help is still needed in the form of building materials to get these homes built and ready for families to move-in. “We are still in need of appliances, furniture, flooring, HVAC units and lumber for joists and framing,” said Bloodworth. “We’re hoping that Oprah’s Angel Network as well CaesarStones’ contributions will encourage other building product manufacturers to join in.” Already home to 20,000 of the city’s poorest residents, many East Biloxi homeowners were not covered by flood insurance because the area was not deemed a flood zone prior to the storm. Although FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have indicated they will provide grants and low-interest loans, this will likely be inadequate compensation for many East Biloxi families. The goal of Architecture for Humanity’s innovative Model Home Program is to provide design services and financial assistance for the construction of new homes for families whose houses were completely destroyed. Families such as lifetime resident Karen Parker and her six children have been paired with a team of professional designers who are working with them one-on-one to design a new home for their property. This unique pilot program provides families with forgivable second mortgages at 0% interest to low- and moderate-income applicants who meet the eligibility requirements. Prospective borrowers must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. If you or your company would like to participate in the Architecture for Humanity Model Home Project, please call Sherry-Lea Bloodworth at (251) 802-3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.