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Amelia Islander

Habitat for Humanity is a hand up for families in need

Jan 20, 2020 09:15AM ● By Karen Miller

Over the years Nassau Habitat for Humanity has supplied over 40 families with new, safe, and affordable housing. Through volunteers and financial contributors, Habitat is able to build new homes for two families nearly every year. Habitat relieves a costly financial burden for qualified families, as all families come from housing situations burdened with overcrowding, mold, and other infestations. Other immediate financial stressors prevent them from being able to escape these conditions and improve their overall quality of life.

Their homeowners must qualify to receive assistance. First, each family undergoes a screening to see if they are financially eligible and meet the criteria of need. Then, each family is interviewed by two current homeowners, who both sit on the Homeowner Selection Committee (HSC), and discuss homeownership. Next, a home visit is completed by two additional members of the HSC. They then bring the application to the HSC who vote to bring the potential homeowners to the Board. The Board of Habitat will then vote to give final approval for the application. 

Once approved, homeowners are required to commit at least 300 hours of their own efforts in “sweat equity”, often with the help of friends and family, before they can close on their new home. Homeowners must also take finance and home maintenance classes, at which point they are partnered with another homeowner (a current member of the HSC) to help them through any questions or issues they may have. Lastly, they continue working for their home by making regular payments as with any mortgage. This process demonstrates partnership, promotes dignity, and ensures that qualified families will enjoy the joy of home ownership. Nassau Habitat for Humanity is currently taking applications for individuals in need of two-bedroom homes. For more information visit https://www.nassauhabitatforhumanity.org/