How to become a Habitat homeowner - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to become a Habitat homeowner

COLUMBUS, GA - For some in Columbus, it is a daily struggle to afford a home for their family.

To celebrate World Habitat Day, the Columbus area Habitat for Humanity is stressing the importance for families in need to have safe homes and showing them how they can be a Habitat home owner.

Mary Williams says she dreamt of having her own home.

"For a while there, I was living with my daughter, and it was a little crowded.  So, I thought it was about time for me to have my own place and I couldn't afford to," said Williams.

So, she applied for a home through Habitat for Humanity.  In March, a group of college kids sacrificed their spring break to build Williams a home, and now, her favorite past time is sitting on her new porch.

"I love my home.  I love it.  Enjoy every room day by day."

Williams is not alone.  Volunteers built six more Habitat homes in her neighborhood earlier this year.  This weekend, Habitat volunteers were hard at work on four more homes in Columbus, and next year, a site in the Eastview neighborhood will be the site for at least eight new Habitat homes.

Brinkley Pound with Habitat for Humanity explains how you could be the homeowner.      

"We'll prioritize the applicants based on need to make sure that we can get them into homes.  Those who need the homes the most and have met all the other qualifications, we will try to get them in their homes first," said Pound.

She says to qualify you must be able to show you have a need anything from unsafe living conditions to rent that is more than 50% of your income.  You are also required to help with 500 hours of the build and still be able to make payments on an interest-free loan.

"These homes are mortgaged to the home owners and they do pay for them because they do own them like any home owner would own a home," explained Pound.

Williams says thanks to Habitat she is able to have her home for an affordable $370 a month.  She encourages others in need to do just one thing:

"Apply.  Just apply.  Everybody won't receive a habitat home, but you don't know.  You have to apply."

You can find an application online at www.columbusareahabitat.com or go to their office at 1080 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard in Columbus.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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