Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives! Financial Stress Is Part Of Their Lives!
Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives!
Financial Stress Is Part Of Their Lives!
Many families work from paycheck to paycheck, and no matter how hard they work, they cannot get ahead. Financial stress is part of their lives. Most often, several members of the family must work to bring in enough income to meet the basics of living. As technology increases, we see cuts in jobs, overtime, raises and bonuses. Many face cuts in health benefits and increased health care costs.
Median price of homes has skyrocketed, while the median income has not. Last fall the median price of a home was $240,000, and the median income of a family of four was $52,250. To afford the 240,000 median-priced home, a family would have to earn $76,190 annually." The recent task force created by the Washington County Commissioners to study work force housing discovered many families don't have enough income to buy a house.
Affordable homes in Washington County are difficult to find because the cost of the homes has increased at a greater rate than the increase of salaries. The task force study further stated that housing prices have been increasing by 13 percent per year over the last five year period, while incomes grew at only 3 percent. This has created a wide affordability gap.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County has been aware of many families not being able to find affordable housing for some years. These new challenges have not changed Habitat for Humanity's belief that everyone deserves a simple, decent, affordable place to live. This has been behind the drive and dedication of hundreds of volunteers. These are volunteers that have donated funds, land and material, as well as those that have given so freely of their time and talents to build new homes for low-income families.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County is a volunteer driven organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. This is accomplished by building simple, affordable homes for low income families in need of a decent place to live and grow. This opens the door to increased self-esteem and self-reliance. In turn, families can devote more attention to job opportunities, their children, education and health. Habitat for Humanity of Washington County touches lives. It helps families to achieve the dream of owning a home.
It provides a program where families seeking to own a home can work alongside volunteers to build that home. Then they are allowed to purchase it at no profit and with zero interest loans, making payments they can afford. The homes are built with donated materials or with materials purchased with donated funds. Funding is essential. It is all through donations of a caring public. Homes require sponsors. It takes money to buy land...to construct houses. Individuals, companies or organizations may sponsor a home. Or they may be willing to donate land or materials. Or perhaps make a cash donation. For more information on any of these items, or it you want to experience the thrill of becoming a volunteer, please call Sherry Brown Cooper, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County at 301-791-9009.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.