Rock Hill’s Housing Development Corporation and Community Partners Build a Free Home for a Veteran



ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – One special Rock Hill veteran is getting a new home built, for free. For the first time, the Housing Development Corporation of Rock Hill and one of its partners are working together to build a brand new home for a veteran and it will be completely free.

Rock Hill’s Housing Development Corporation and Saradac Management Group are building the foundation of a new home for one lucky veteran. Looking for someone who was a combat veteran, who was at or below 80% of the area median income, and someone who lived in York County, out of 22 applications, the HDC announcing its selection of a nine year army veteran, Maggie Pezzello and her family.

“I’m a single parent so I’ve been working two jobs for 10 years and it’s tough, it’s tough for my kids a lot they don’t get to do a lot of things you know that I would like for them to be able to do. So I thought I’d just try and see what happens but I had no idea it would actually work out,” says Pezzello.

For the last 10 years, Maggie has been a teacher at Cherry Park Elementary and she says it hasn’t been easy raising her children and finding affordable housing.  HDC leaders say Maggie isn’t the only veteran who is in search of housing security.

Krista Parenti, Housing Coordinator at the Rock Hill Housing Development, saying, “Just because we help somebody here doesn’t mean someone else is not going to become homeless tomorrow. Just as we know that we get more and more veterans every day so we were really happy to participate and help a population who is not just vulnerable but very deserving.”

That’s why leaders from the HDC and SMG wanted to provide a home cost free. Located in an up and coming area leaders say they work to get as many people into their Rapid Rehousing program as possible. They say affordable housing is still a growing issue.

Dawn Willingham, Executive Director of the Rock Hill Housing Development, says,”One of the challenges is even though we get them past all the guidelines and standards for that program — finding a place for them to live where they can afford to take up the rent after our subsidy is over, so it’s a challenge. We had a recent market study done and it said that we were about 6,000 or so units in the minus column for being affordable.”

Project Manager for SMG, Mike Goodner, says, “The community, our suppliers, our subcontractors, everybody really jumped forward and really opened their hearts out to give us the ability to get the house underway which we are excited about.”

Maggie says she’s looking forward to the stability and new start this home will bring her family – saying she can’t wait to start making new memories.

“I don’t know how to say thank you for it or even for my kids but I hope that I can be a part of helping this continue and things like that in Rock Hill,” says Pezzello.

In the video above, CN2 is speaking with the special veteran about what this opportunity will mean – for her and her family.

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