Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2007

Work begins on sixth Habitat home

March 18, 2007


Three down, three in progress and 10 more to go.

Lawrence Habitat for Humanity has been working swiftly since August to build 16 homes in the Comfort Neighborhood, which is near North Eighth and Walnut streets. The nonprofit organization builds homes, giving families in need an affordable place to live.

Work on the neighborhood's sixth house began Saturday, when the future homeowners drove nails into the first boards of the home.

"Thanks for the house," said Richard Marshall, who will live in the home with his partner of 14 years, Jessica McAlister, and their children, Nicholas, Autumn and Riley.

"This is going to be a good start for us," McAlister said.

In conjunction with Habitat's Collegiate Challenge, 31 college students from the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Illinois in Champaign and a campus ministry program out of Oshkosh, Wisc., will spend part of their spring break working on the home, said Jean Lilley, executive director.

"By this time next week, there will be a lot of progress on this house," she said.

Habitat uses community volunteers to construct the homes, and requires other Habitat homeowners to contribute "sweat equity" hours.

The nonprofit organization must complete seven homes in the North Lawrence neighborhood by the end of June to receive a $130,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Noweigh 10 years, 11 months ago

Good call Pogo....wonder if thereÂ'll be any "running to their cars to escape the cold weather" this time too. Anyone that helps Habitat should be complimented. Anyone that grandstands and uses it as a media event to blow their own horn and feel better about themeselves just doesnÂ't get it.

oldgoof 10 years, 11 months ago

Great program. ........and I'll drive my car out there so the ladies have a place to warm up.

hockmano 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes this is a great program. But the guidelines should be revaluated. There are hundreds of needy families in Lawrence that do not qualify to get a habitat home.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 11 months ago

whoaa! we'll see how long that post lasts!

coolmom 10 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

coolmom 10 years, 11 months ago

what? i am just saying that according to the habitat site you dont need background checks or drug tests to get a habitat home which potentially makes habitat homes a problem in neighborhoods. shouldnt the families that get these homes be chosen from the thousands of people who are going to make the best use of these resources? i know many families who could and would pass these requirement so if they are not in place now how do we know that the money and time we donate is really the best way to spend our money and time?

GSWtotheheart 10 years, 11 months ago

Habitat has some pretty simple requirements for applicants which include 1. 2 years on the same job 2. no delinquent credit on your credit report 3. substandard living arrangements 4. willingness to put the time into building your own home with sweat equity hours 5. inability to pay a traditional mortgage which is high because of interest 6. ability to pay closing costs on your home once it is finished 7. income within certain guidelines

When you apply, your application goes through several committees and processes, and you are interviewed more than once.

I think Habitat is a good program, as it facilitates home ownership in a population that just can't quite handle a traditional mortgage because interest drives the payment so high. The house is not GIVEN to you, you build it and work on it from start to finish, every weekend, until it's done. Then you pay for it. You OWN it and it is yours to live your life in.

If someone in a habitat house is abusing drugs or a kid (as stated in the post above) then report what you know to the police and let them take care of it. There are over 50 Habitat houses in Lawrence now and you are going to see the same range of humanity as any people not living in Habitat houses.

Don't blame Habitat because they do not want those kinds of homeowners. The selection criteria is set up to try to get families with some sort of stability in their lives, even if they might have a hard time paying a huge house payment every month, they can afford the low payments that Habitat tries to give homeowners.

When you pay your Habitat mortgage every month you pay on the principal of what it cost in materials and supplies to build your house, you pay 1/12 of your yearly property taxes into escrow, 1/12 of your yearly insurance into escrow, and then a certain percentage is placed into a contingency fund acct. There is also a second mortgage on the house that is the dollar value of the volunteer work that went into the house. On a 20 year mortgage (which is what Habitat gives you), a portion of the second mortgage is forgiven each month that you live in the house.

Again, this helps that segment of the population that maybe could afford rent or a low house pmt every month but could not afford to save for their insurance or taxes, or that could not just whip out their checkbook and write checks for hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay that insurance or taxes.

You still have to pay your house payment and utilites or any other bills you have, but you and your kids at least have your own home to live in while you do it.

For anybody out there that thinks this is a free ride, you're mistaken. It's a hand up, not a hand out. I think Habitat is wonderful, and it affords many people the opportunity to raise their kids in a house instead of an apartment.

If anyone has any questions, call the Habitat office or email me through this site. I can talk them up all day!

GSWtotheheart 10 years, 11 months ago

You don't need a background check or drug test to receive a traditional mortgage, why should you for a Habitat mortgage?

They are trying to help people, and anyone has a fair chance if they meet the criteria.

Your logic is flawed.

ANY mortgage that doesn't require a background check or drug test could potentially put a drug user or child abuser in a neighborhood.

One thing about Habitat's criteria, they do ask you to self-disclose if you've had any trouble with the law. If so, you have to explain it, and if you are actively in trouble or on probation/parole, you don't qualify.

The criteria are set up to encourage RESPONSIBLE people in their pursuit of home ownership. Hence the 2 yrs on the job requirement, ability to pay your mortgage and other bills every month, willingness to work on your home every weekend from start to finish. Trust me, if you flake out on these requirements, you'll lose the house the same way someone else would with a traditional mortgage.

The real question here is how many times have you been to one of Habitat's public application meetings and filled out an application? You sound bitter about Habitat although uninformed, so I guess it evens out.

coolmom 10 years, 11 months ago

my logic normally is flawed lol. my respect for habitat for humanity knows no bounds and i have donated both money and time and i am sure i will do so again in the future. my concern is for the potential lying on the self reporting forms. but as you so logically pointed out i am sure the people who dont deserve the houses will lose them if that is god's or whomevers will. have a great day

GSWtotheheart 10 years, 11 months ago

criminal records are open records in KS-all anyone has to do is get online or go down to the courthouse and records can be requested

self-reporting is nothing new, ever seen the line on a job application that asks, "have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony?"

your answer can be checked and if you lied, you're out

easy as pie

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