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Applications for Habitat homes available through Jan. 27

Posted: December 30, 2011 11:12 a.m.
Updated: January 2, 2012 5:00 a.m.

For Mary Reynolds, having a stable home for her family to live in important.

But for the single Camden mother, tough economic times made the task difficult.

She works two jobs and is living with her daughter and two grandsons in an older house.

Reynolds said her faith in God led her to apply last year to become an owner of a Habitat for Humanity house.

“I was looking for a better house for us to live in, and I saw the Habitat sign and called the number. From there I filled out an application,” she said.

Reynolds said she was tired of her family living in the cold, and Habitat would offer an affordable solution.
Habitat For Humanity builds modest, decent, and affordable homes -- in safe neighborhoods -- for qualified, low-to-moderate income families.

Bruce Little, Kershaw County Habitat executive director, made it clear that Habitat houses are not a “give-away program.”

“All of our applicants are screened and the families have to commit to a significant number of  ‘sweat equity’ hours on the house,” he said.

In addition, the homes are sold to the families with a 0 percent interest mortgage.

For Reynolds, the house -- and the program -- have been a saving grace.

“I’ve taken 20 hours of budgeting classes through Habitat,” she said, “and it really opened my eyes on what I was wasting. I had never set a budget before. Those classes were very helpful.”

Reynolds also said she has made lasting friendships with the other families in the Habitat program.

“We’ll be neighbors when the houses are completed. We’ll live on the same block,” she said. “It’s really neat to have friends that know what you’re going through.”

In addition, Reynolds said she has already volunteered to help two of these families build their homes.
A blitz to build Reynolds’ home is set for March 17, but the completion of the home will depend on the number of volunteers willing to help.

“I’m just praying for it to be finished by next winter,” Reynolds said. “If God can provide me and my family the opportunity to own a home, I can be patient,”

To qualify for a Habitat home, a family must meet the following criteria:
• Must have lived in Kershaw County for at least one year.
• Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
• Have a need for adequate housing
• Currently live in housing which is overcrowded or in bad condition.
• Currently live in a situation that is unstable or unsafe.
• Currently pay more than 30 percent of income for housing and utilities.
• Live in temporary housing.
• Live in subsidized housing (including Section-8 or Housing Authority).
• Show an ability to pay
• Must have a stable source of income.
• Show a willingness to partner
• Each family member 18 or older must complete 175 hours of “sweat equity.”

Applications will be available until Jan. 27. For more information contact the Habitat office at 432-4333, information@kershawhabitat.com or visit its website, www.kershawhabitat.org.

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