, Salem, MA

Local News

September 21, 2013

A place to call home in Danvers

Town set to celebrate first Habitat project

DANVERS — Two weeks ago, the Pacheco/Suriel family moved from Salem into their own “quiet” corner of the American dream: A new condominium in a duplex building constructed by Habitat for Humanity North Shore.

The new affordable housing project occupies a portion of the old grassy playground of the former Danversport School at 26 Mill St. It’s the first time Habitat for Humanity North Shore has built a project in town.

The home is a dream come true for a family of hardworking immigrants from the Dominican Republic — Roberto Pacheco, 38, who works for Travel Leather in Peabody; his wife, Angela Suriel, 37, a cook at Bertucci’s in Vinnin Square in Swampscott; and their two children.

The home was finished in time to allow their son, Robert Pacheco, 10, to start fifth grade at the Riverside School, and daughter, Isaura Pacheco, 14, to start high school at the newly renovated Danvers High.

“I like the living room because I like how it’s decorated,” Isaura said.

Robert likes his new room “because I have fun in there.”

The family previously lived in an apartment on Congress Street in Salem. Now they live in a brightly painted three-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot condo with a large kitchen and living area, an unfinished basement and plenty of room for storage in the attic.

“It’s big,” said Robert about his new home, which will be on display to the public tomorrow at 2 p.m. during an open house and dedication ceremony.

“You have to be lucky to get one of these houses, many people qualified, but not many people get it,” Pacheco said. He said he might have been able to afford a home on his own, but not a brand new one.

Last year, Town Meeting and the Zoning Board of Appeals gave approvals to allow the Danvers Housing Authority to sell the 15,000-square-foot plot to Habitat for $1 to build the two affordable condos. The building features a large front porch for both units.

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