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Habitat For Humanity By Renee Snyder

renee-snyder

Habitat For Humanity – Myths And Facts

By Renee Snyder

Take a moment and learn the true facts about Habitat for Humanity. You’ll be surprised at the misconceptions you may have.

MYTH: Habitat gives away homes to welfare recipients and poor people.
FACT: Applicants must have sufficient income to pay mortgage payments of approximately $650 monthly, not to exceed 30% of their take-home pay, and have an acceptable credit record and payment history.

 They also have to make a down payment of $2,000 and contribute 300-500 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or another Habitat home. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.

MYTH: Only minority families get Habitat for Humanity homes.
FACT: Habitat builds houses in partnership with those in need regardless of race, religion or any other difference. Prospective homeowners must meet three criteria: need; ability to repay the mortgage; and a willingness to partner with Habitat. Statistically, 33 percent of Habitat homeowners are Anglo and 67 percent are people of ethnic minorities. Habitat for Humanity Sarasota is an equal housing provider.

MYTH: Habitat Homeowners really don’t own their homes.
FACT: The homes are sold and belong to the homeowner as long as they pay their 30-year, zero interest mortgage loan.

MYTH:  Habitat houses reduce a neighborhood’s property values.
FACT: Housing studies show affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have proven to increase property values and the local property tax base.

MYTH: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
FACT: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s abiding belief that God’s love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world. Habitat for Humanity Sarasota is an equal housing provider.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.
FACT: Habitat for Humanity is not an arm of the government. Habitat is an independent, nonprofit organization that accepts some government funds and other resources to help provide houses for those in need. Local affiliates, such as Habitat Sarasota embrace a philosophy to avoid becoming dependent on or controlled by government funds.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
FACT: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Ga., by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Ga.), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

Renee Synder is the Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity Sarasota. She attended the University of Kentucky and is a certified U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant writer. Renee received certification in Laws and Practices of Real Estate and Real Estate Contract Law from Manatee Community College, and holds credentials or has had specialized training in the areas of finance, accounting, management, diversity and professional fundraising. Renee may be reached at (941) 365-0700 or rsnyder@sarasotahabitat.com.

Copyright © 2011 REAL Magazine

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