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Article Archive >> Community

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives! How Do I Get A Habitat House?

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives!
How Do I Get A Habitat House?

"How do I get a Habitat house?" Good question! It is a question often asked! So here's the answer. It is a process that requires some effort on the person asking the question, and much work for numerous volunteers seeking the answer.
Attending an informational meeting is the first step in the process toward home-ownership. That meeting is coming up very soon. The Family Services Committee has announced this informational meeting for potential homeowners will be held on Monday, July 30th at the Habitat office, Presbyterian Church, 20 South Prospect Street, Hagerstown. The meeting will start promptly at 6:00 p.m.
Criteria for being considered for one to become a Habitat home-owner will be discussed and questions will be answered. Assistance will be available for completing the application as well.
Material that is essential to bring with you includes the names, addresses, and phone numbers of current and previous landlord, current and previous employers, and banks or credit bureaus. In addition, copies of the past two years of Federal Income Tax returns, three most recent pay stubs, and Maryland Driver's License or photo ID will be required.
Habitat For Humanity of Washington County, an ecumenical Christian housing ministry, is a volunteer-based organization. It addresses the issues of this basic human need, a place for families to live and grow, by providing decent, affordable housing. Habitat homes are primarily funded by contributions of money and in-kind donations of material, services and land. The homes are built with volunteer labor and "sweat-equity" of 500-hours of labor by the family taking title to the home. Habitat sells the home to the family at no-profit and offers a zero-interest mortgage on the home. The money from the payments is used to build more homes.
Habitat, its volunteers, its donors, and the families work together in partnership to meet the housing challenges in our community. This way a decent, affordable place in which to live can be a reality. Habitat's goal is to do away with poverty housing by working in partnership with approved, low-income families to move them out of substantial housing into decent, affordable homes, not as tenants, but as home-owners.
The goal is surely achievable, but not without help of a group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens. Habitat calls them volunteers! Habitat needs workers, both skilled and unskilled, to help with construction projects. Habitat also needs qualified partner families, as well as volunteers to help prepare families for home ownership. This group is the Family Services Committee which works with families in the process of home ownership from application, to selection, to home completion, and beyond. The committee meets on the third Monday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the Habitat office. New members are welcome. Remember, a volunteer is a person who believes people can make a difference, and is willing to prove it! If you would like to get involved with Habitat's volunteer program to help your community, contact Sharon Hawkins at the Habitat office, 301-791-9009, or habitatsharon@att.net.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.

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