Huntting Park is a .66 acre parcel located at SW Hall Blvd and SW Sussex Street. Originally, it was known as ‘Barnes Acres.’ It was actually used by Willamette West Habitat for Humanity in 2004 when it served as the staging area while Leadership Row, our five home neighborhood to the north, was under construction.
The land, owned by George Stall, at one time held his family home. The house was lost in a fire several years earlier, and George, who was a supporter of Willamette West Habitat, wanted to sell the land to us below market value to honor his deceased wife.
George ended up selling the property to the City of Beaverton in 2006. Over the next few years, Beaverton allocated $584,600 in HOME funding (a grant program of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) to Willamette West Habitat for Humanity. We received $230,000 in November 2007 to purchase the land, and the rest was used for on-site infrastructure work necessary for the project to move forward.
In August of 2008, Board President Cherry Williams asked for suggestions for the neighborhood name, for what was being referred to as “Leadership Row II”. Long-time board member Ed Brauner suggested naming it after the Huntting family: Bill and Becky, and Bill’s twin sister Patti. By February 2009 it was actively being called “Huntting Park” and on August 24, 2009 the development name was officially changed to Huntting Park by the city.
Bill Huntting joined the Habitat family after retiring. As our resident volunteer architect, he maintains an office at the job site and is responsible for designing our houses to work with any limitations caused by the physicality of the site, while still accommodating the needs of our families. Both Bill & Patti have personally sponsored homes in several of our neighborhoods. In response to the question “what’s the best thing about volunteering for Willamette West Habitat”, the “regular” volunteers answered enthusiastically “Becky Huntting’s cookies!” It’s just not a trip to the construction site if you don’t try some of Becky Huntting’s homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Patti Huntting is Bill’s twin sister and is almost as involved in the organization as he is. In 2001, on her very first day volunteering with us, Portland experienced a 6.8 magnitude earthquake. “We ran out onto the little porch [of the office] wondering what was going on,” said Patti. “Afterwards, I saw it as a good omen, that I was someplace where I could make a difference.” Patti volunteered in the office for several years, and even served on the board of directors, but her true passion is our families. She serves on the partnering committee and loves the day when she gets to deliver balloons and great news to families who have been accepted into our program. With some families, she has even continued on to mentor them so they can be successful in their new life as a homeowner.
Construction of the Huntting Park neighborhood was delayed while Willamette West Habitat worked through concerns a local citizen had. In 2010, we successfully litigated a land use challenge by the citizen with eventual approval of our project by LUBA allowing us to finally prepare to break ground and begin building in 2012.
Huntting Park will be home to our first Women Build home in Beaverton. Funding for the home will be raised by women through donations and events and the house will be built by women volunteers. The ladies are even building a playhouse which will be raffled off in 2012. It also will be home to our first Builders Blitz home. Builders Blitz is part of a Habitat for Humanity International program that has the goal of building 250 homes nationwide, from start to finish, between June 4th and 8th. We are excited that one of our homes will be part of this national effort.
Our Huntting Park neighborhood will eventually be home to five families. It will have a 2-bedroom home, a 3-bedroom home and three 4-bedroom homes. All homes will be Energy Star certified and will be the result of 2,500 hours of volunteer sweat equity on the part of the homeowners and 7,500 hours of volunteer labor from the community. While the land was purchased for $230,000 in 2007, the finished value of the neighborhood will be over $500,000, and homeowners will pay over $10,000 in property taxes.