Habitat for Humanity: Building Homes & Dreams
SAN ANGELO, TX – Owning a home can seem like an unattainable goal for many families, but with the help of Habitat for Humanity, it can become a real possibility.
"Nobody needs to choose whether they can pay rent or medical bills or have food on the table," said Pam Hammer, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity.
For many first-time buyers, it can be difficult to secure conventional financing or meet income guidelines for a traditional bank. At Habitat, applicants are provided with the ability to apply for a loan and a home they may not have access to through traditional venues. Common misconceptions exist regarding the assistance that Habitat provides prospective homeowners and it’s important to note that the organization doesn’t provide people with “free homes.”
Habitat for Humanity is focused on providing local families with a hand up, not a hand down. They provide an alternative opportunity for individuals who are looking for an affordable home for their families.
Families or individuals that wish to purchase a home through the organization are provided with the opportunity to buy a home at cost and pay for it with a 0% interest mortgage loan for twenty years.
Habitat is currently completing two beautiful (3) bedroom, (2) bath homes in San Angelo. The homes are close to completion and are looking for a new owner. The completed houses will include major appliances and a brand-new fence for privacy and safety. The homes are located on twin lots and will be ready for a new family or individual to move in within the next couple of months.
The first step is to fill out an application at Habitat for Humanity located at 401 North Chadbourne Street. The application will determine eligibility and show potential buyers what they may need to improve on to become eligible for the loan and home.
Depending on a variety of factors, mortgage payments for applicants could be as low as $500 per month, including taxes and escrow. The median rent of a home in San Angelo can range higher than $900 per month. Having an accessible mortgage payment can be the determining factor for many families when buying a home. Affordable housing should be available to everyone in the community and paying for rent or a mortgage shouldn't break the bank for families every month.
Applicants also receive assistance that goes above and beyond filling out an application. They are provided with resources that ensure they can be successful, like learning how to budget and finding ways to improve credit scores. If applicants are close to qualifying but may need to improve their credit score or debt-to-income ratio, then Habitat works with them and provides the resources they need to become eligible applicants in the future.
Potential homeowners are approved based on need, ability to pay and willingness to partner with Habitat.
Applicants are considered as potential homeowners if they meet the following requirements regarding need: they are facing structural problems with wiring or plumbing, overcrowding, or if the majority of their income goes to cover housing.
The ability to pay is also a major factor. Applicants must be first time buyers, be currently employed for 12 consecutive months, be unable to qualify for conventional financing and meet income guidelines.
The third factor that is equally important for the application process is a partnership with the organization. Willingness to partner with Habitat is crucial to the process. Applications must be completed in a timely and honest manner; applicants must participate in education sessions and provide 300 hours of "sweat equity." Sweat equity is obtained by assisting with building the home or by being involved in the community through local organizations.
Habitat for Humanity also offers trustees from the Tom Green County Jail a chance to give back to the community and learn marketable skills. The homes are built entirely by trustees and allow them to contribute to society as they develop skills and trades that can help them find stable jobs after they complete their terms.
If anyone is interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity visit www.habitatsanangelo.org. These homes provide an excellent opportunity for families and individauls who may not always have access to brand new homes in San Angelo.
For more information contact Habitat for Humanity by calling (325) 655-7535. Current office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 am-5 pm and on Friday from 9 am-12 pm.
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