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Habitat for Humanity accepting applications
Organizers hope to start building next summer
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Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications for families in need of affordable housing offered through the non-profit organization. With hopes of starting the next building project in the summer of 2014, interested families should submit an application as soon as possible, said Rachel Mawhirter, chairman of the local Habitat board.
Habitat for Humanity is designed to partner with families who are living in a substandard housing situation to give them a hand up. “One of the misconceptions we struggle to overcome is that Habitat for Humanity is giving away houses for free,” Mawhirter said. “The homes we build aren’t just given away. Partner families pay for the homes through a 25-year mortgage, just like they would with a bank. The difference is that their new home costs a lot less, because we don’t charge any interest and it is built with volunteer labor.”
Applications received by the Habitat Board of Directors are reviewed by a family selection committee. The committee runs a credit check and verifies the applicants’ employment history, with preference given to applicants who have held the same job for at least six months. This helps ensure that the families selected have the means and the discipline necessary to repay their mortgage.
Applicants are then interviewed by the family selection committee in their current residence to ensure that they are, in fact, in need of decent housing.
“Families who receive Habitat homes have to be willing to partner with our organization every step of the way,” Mawhirter said. “The family who is selected is required to put in 400 volunteer hours in the building process, some of which include taking finance classes and home repair classes so that they can take care of their new home once it is built.”
Applications will be accepted until the next family has been selected.
Anyone interested in applying, volunteering or donating should find Habitat for Humanity: Barton County Area on Facebook and send a message. Interested families can also download an application off the Facebook page. Questions can also be directed to