Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity holds mortgage burning ceremo - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity holds mortgage burning ceremony

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Over the past three years, Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity has seen more than a dozen of their partner families pay off their mortgages, and all of them ahead of schedule.

This huge accomplishment was celebrated with a mortgage burning ceremony this afternoon, Nov. 6, 2013. Homeowners, mortgage holders and Habitat for Humanity representatives took actual mortgage notes, and threw them in a bonfire as a gesture commemorating the fact that the mortgages are completely paid in full.  

Columbus Area Habitat For Humanity helps families in need by providing them with a unique opportunity towards home ownership. A spokesperson for the organization, Laura Ann Mann, says their partner families agree to put 500 hours of work equity into building their own homes, and they sign an affordable mortgage agreement. "So it's not a handout, but a hand up," says Mann.

Geraldine Cason says when she first heard of Habitat for Humanity, she was raising her children in a home that was structurally unsound. She feared for her children's safety. Then, she partnered with Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity, who also gave classes on how to budget for a mortgage. Cason is now retired, and today she has experienced the freedom of burning her mortgage in the ceremony.

"I'm thrilled, and I'm happy, and I'm content," says Cason. "I thank God for allowing me to go ahead and pay off the house, and pay it off early. And now I'm free and the house is mine."

Columbus Area Habit for Humanity also dedicated their 278th house this morning. The project, sponsored by Aflac, is an Energy Star 3.0 home, and the fourth one of its kind built by the organization. 

For more information on Columbus Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at columbusareahabitat.com.

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