When Becky Errigo started working with Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation (GFCDC) in 1999, she might have suspected it was a relationship meant to last. After all, her start date, August 13, was an auspicious one: her parents’ anniversary, her brother-in-law’s birthday, the day her sister started her first job, and the day she met her husband. Twenty years (and 90 units of housing) later, that turns out to be the case.
Becky joined GFCDC after meeting one of the board members, an instructor in a watercolor painting class she was taking as a creative outlet. When the instructor learned of her background in interior design and project management, she encouraged her to apply for a part-time, temporary position as Housing Development Project Manager. At that time, the organization was just four people. When GFCDC merged with Community NHS four years ago to become NeighborWorks Home Partners, Becky became the longest-serving member on a staff four times as large.
In her role as Housing Developer, Becky oversees the rehabilitation of vacant homes and the construction of new homes on vacant lots throughout the city. Her goal is to provide safe, stable, affordable, and healthy housing. And her definition of healthy includes aesthetically pleasing. She notes, “I’m really affected by my surroundings. They can greatly influence a person’s well-being, especially in children. Healthy housing is free from mold, asbestos, and lead, but it is also beautiful.”
And the work is always changing. “Every project is different – there is always a new challenge to overcome. I enjoy the problem-solving, bringing out the best in the character of the home, making sure they function well for today. And there is the problem-solving of working with different and limited funding. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on high-end finishes to make a home beautiful.”
She loves that her work has a human connection. “For me, the best part of the job is handing over the keys to new homeowners,” Becky said. “I usually don’t meet them until closing day, and it’s uplifting to see how excited they are. For most, it’s their first home.“