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PERRY COUNTY - With construction nearing completion on two homes located on Eleventh Street in Tell City, Perry County's Habitat for Humanity group is launching plans for three new homes to be constructed starting in 2010.
"We build homes with our partner families," explained local Habitat director Sue Denoncour. "So the process begins with family selection. That way we can design each home with the family's particular needs in mind, begin preparing the families for home ownership and integrate them into the building phase early on." The organization hopes to build three new homes in the next 24 to 36 months, and is now accepting applications from Perry County residents who would like to be considered for Habitat partnership to build and then purchase the homes.
Minimum requirements to be considered for selection as a partner family include the need for improved housing, the ability to pay for a Habitat home, a willingness to partner with Habitat and residency in Perry County at the time of application.
Applicants are also expected to be first-time home owners. All applicants are considered without regard to age, gender, race, national origin, religious affiliation or family composition.
"Potential partner families must show a need for a better place to live," Denoncour said in explaining the requirements. "They must meet minimum household income guidelines to ensure that they can afford a long-term mortgage, as well as maximum income guidelines since our goal is to work with families who would not otherwise be able to build or buy a home through conventional means.
"The sweat equity requirement is a huge commitment on the family's par," she continued. Sweat equity refers to the hours each family must work to help with the construction of their home or that of another family.
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian housing ministry financed through private donations and using volunteer labor. Its goal is to partner with low-income families to build safe, decent, affordable housing.
Upon completion, the organization sells the home to the partner family at cost, financing the purchase at no interest.
Denoncour stressed that the program provides a "hand-up" to families in need of a better place to live.
"It's not a hand-out as some believe. Rather Habitat families work alongside community volunteers to build the homes, and then they purchase the homes and pay them off over a 25- to 30-year period," she said.
Habitat families enjoy all benefits of home ownership, and we work with them so that they can successfully assume all the responsibilities as well.
As the group continues with its ministry, they invite members of the Perry County community to join them in their work.
"No gift of time, materials or money is too small or too large," Denoncour said. "It will be the combined effort of many within our community that will help us continue to provide safe and healthy homes for families in need."
How to Apply
Applications are available from the Perry County Habitat for Humanity office, located at 302 Main St. in Tell City. The mailing address is P.O. Box 72, Tell City, IN 47586. For more information call 547-3435, Ext. 266.