AHIP helps Albemarle County senior in need of expensive septic repair

Updated: May. 28, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County man is breathing easier after Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) stepped in to help with a project causing a lot of stress.

Shafique Ahmed has not only been struggling with his declining health and disabilities. Over the last year, he has been living in a house with a failed septic system.

When the Thomas Jefferson Health District realized how serious the situation was, they dialed AHIP to come to the rescue.

“They’ve been dealing with this situation, didn’t know where to turn or who could help them,” AHIP’s Director of Programs Cory Demchak said.

When TJHD noticed a house in Albemarle County with backed-up sewage streaming into its lawn, they turned to the only home repair nonprofit in the area.

“This is something we do every day, it’s not always septic or sewage repairs, it could be electrical it could just be safety and health issues around the home,” Demchak said.

AHIP’s emergency home repair program tackles critical projects to maintain the safety and health of Charlottesville and Albemarle neighbors.

“I think the thing that’s so special about AHIP is we are the only home repair nonprofit in the area that works year-round to provide these types of fixes for families,” Demchak said.

They stepped up to the plate to help Ahmed who lived in a constant state of worry with neighbors complaining and financial difficulties looming.

“Actually, the monetary problem is the great problem,” Ahmed said.

Now, AHIP has taken that weight off of his shoulders.

“This is definitely one that has impacts not only on the family but on the neighbors and neighborhood, the waterways in the area," Demchak said. "It is very special. It’s very meaningful because this is something this family has struggled with for almost a year now.”

The repair, which cost upwards of $5,000, is completely taken care of.

“We are grateful and thankful to them,” Ahmed said.

AHIP hopes to meet the needs of people just like Ahmed. However, with coronavirus affecting so many financially, the program’s demand is high and donations are low.

“We never know what that need is going to be, we have a waitlist of about 250 families right now in Charlottesville and Albemarle,” Demchak said.

AHIP is looking to raise up to $38,000 by the end of the month so that they can keep helping neighbors in need, especially during this time of increased hardship.

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