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Apply to Habitat in a hurry if you need a house

POSTED: November 10, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Habitat for Humanity of Hall County is holding its final 2008 application for housing meetings today and Saturday.

The nonprofit group provides affordable housing for low to moderate income families in Hall County.

Habitat’s operations manager Jennifer Buffington said any families who are interested in applying for housing must attend either the 6 p.m. meeting, or the 10:30 a.m. Saturday meeting.

"We’ll go over the program and how our program works, all the qualifications. We’ll give them the application, go over every single document that has to be turned in ... and answer any questions," Buffington said.

Buffington said families are chosen based on their need for housing, their income, or ability to make payments, and their willingness to be active partners with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity uses volunteer labor, and the families selected take part in the building process for their home and others.

"They have to put in 300 hours of sweat equity," Buffington said.

Families also are responsible for payments on a no profit, no interest mortgage.

The income requirements are based on the size of the family. This year, for example, a family of four whose income is no less than $17,475 and no more than $34,950 is eligible.

Buffington said the immediacy of need also is taken into account when selecting the five to six families the organization will be helping in 2009.

She said it is often a difficult decision because about 25 families apply every year.

The homes will be built throughout the county, and locations are determined by where inexpensive or donated parcels of land are located.

Despite tough times in the economy, Buffington said applications and construction projects are pretty steady. However,
Habitat is still in need of land.

"We only have one lot to built on next year, so we need about 6 more land lots for our upcoming families," Buffington said.

Buffington said she hopes people in need will come to the application meetings to learn how Habitat for Humanity can help them.

"We’re trying to get more people in and trying to get the word out about Habitat, so that we can get the best families that Hall County has to offer that are deserving and need just an extra hand to get them into home ownership," Buffington said.



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