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Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Habitat forecloses on home

June 6, 2001

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For the first time in its 12-year history, Lawrence Habitat for Humanity has taken back one of its houses.

"There were some extenuating circumstances, but, basically, the family was unable to make their payments," said Androllaert, executive director at Habitat for Humanity.

Bollaert said Habitat for Humanity took back the three-bedroom house last week. He declined to identify the family a mother and three children or provide the address.

"This is the first time we've had to do something like this," he said.

"The family was substantially in arrears," said Clay Comfort, president of Habitat for Humanity's governing board.

Habitat for Humanity, a Christian-based, nonprofit organization, uses volunteer labor to build houses. The houses are sold to low-income buyers at or near cost.

Since its inception, Habitat for Humanity has built and sold 39 houses in Lawrence.

Bollaert said the vacated house, the 12th house built by Habitat for Humanity, will be put on the market after some needed repairs.

"We'll work with Tenants to Homeowners on that," he said, referring to a Lawrence-based program that helps low- to modest-income buyers obtain home loans.

Comfort said he regretted having to ask the family to leave.

"We let our heads be overridden by our hearts for too long," he said. "But we have a responsibility to our donors."

Comfort said that until last week, Lawrence's chapter was the only group in the five-state region that had not had to take back a house.

"In that sense, I guess we've been fortunate," he said.

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