In 2006 Peter M. Wege’s environmental vision led to the nation’s first Habitat Home awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. That was just the beginning.
As Habitat Kent’s Director Barbara Benda, says, “It has been an incredible journey of ecology, economy and social justice ever since Mr. Wege’s support empowered Habitat to commit in 2007 to building all LEED certified Habitat homes in Kent County.”
By April 2013, Habitat Kent was working on its 111th LEED home. That means 110 LEED homes have been restored since Peter and The Wege Foundation built that first one at 925 Cass Ave.
In the Wealthy Heights neighborhood alone, The Wege Foundation has been instrumental in Habitat Kent’s rehab and building of ten homes with repair work and clean-up on six more. The restoration of this area has special significance to Peter and The Wege Foundation as it is anchored by Wealthy Theatre.
Peter Wege led the charge that in 1997 saved and restored the abandoned movie house. The resurrection of the Theatre triggered the comeback of the entire Wealthy Street Business District as well as the surrounding neighborhood.
To become a Habitat homeowner, applicants must put in 300 to 500 hours on construction. Additionally, they are required to take classes in home maintenance and money management. The link here offers a perspective on what Habitat applicants must do to earn their front-door keys.
**Top photo – Barbara Benda, Director of Habitat Kent, Caitlin Wege and Jessica McClear Wege, two of Peter M. Wege’s granddaughters, and Terri McCarthy, V.P. of Programming for The Wege Foundation, stand on the porch of the newly remodeled Habitat home on Freyling Place in Wealthy Heights.