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Article Archive >> Community

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives! It's Not Just A Dream!

Building Homes! Rebuilding Lives!
It's Not Just A Dream!

It's not just a dream to have a decent, affordable place to live! A home can be a reality! Partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Washington County can make that dream a reality!
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County provides decent, affordable housing to hard-working, low-income families in need. Oh, Habitat is not a giveaway program! The program is a hand-up, not a handout! Family partners must pay back a no-profit, no-interest mortgage to Habitat with low monthly payments. They must also contribute 500-hours of "sweat equity" working side-by-side with volunteers and staff. Families also learn important skills to be successful, self-sufficient homeowners such as budget management and home maintenance.
You may ask, "Who qualifies for a Habitat house?" Well, in addition to being a U.S. citizen and a resident of Washington County for one year, the applicant must be one who is not able to obtain a home mortgage through regular means. Applicants must be in need of affordable or decent housing. They must meet Habitat income guidelines, and be able to repay a no-interest mortgage. Applicants must partner with Habitat, and agree to complete the 500-hours of "sweat equity" All applicants will be reviewed by Habitat's Family Services Committee to determine need, ability to repay the mortgage loan, and willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity.
If applicants meet the initial qualifications and are being considered for a home, they will be asked to work a set number of volunteer hours as part of the selection criteria. The "good faith" volunteer work not only shows Habitat the level of the family's commitment, but also allows the family to see if it is able to work with Habitat. Working these hours does not guarantee that the applicant will be approved for a Habitat home. Applicants cannot be paid for hours worked.
A Homeowner Information Meeting has been scheduled for July 28 at 6:00 p.m. It will be held at the Habitat for Humanity of Washington County office, 20 South Prospect Street, Hagerstown (inside the Presbyterian Church). Criteria for being considered for a Habitat home will be discussed and questions will be answered. Assistance will be available for completing the application.
Those planning to attend should bring the following material to the Information Meeting for the application process:
* Name, address and phone numbers for current and previous landlords; current and previous employers; bank or credit bureau.
* Copy of past two (2) years Federal Income Tax Returns.
* Three (3) most recent pay stubs.
* Copy of Maryland Driver's License or Photo ID.
Attending this Information Meeting at 6:00 p.m., July 28, is the first step in the process toward home ownership with Habitat for Humanity of Washington County. For more information call Habitat at 301,791-9009.

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

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