Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

March 2, 2014

Habitat for Humanity accepting housing applications

TRAVERSE CITY — Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region is looking for families who are in need of adequate, affordable housing and are willing to put in the sweat equity to get it.

The group needs to select families with whom to partner before they start building, and officials will host two application fairs for interested families to learn more about the process and find out if they qualify.

Families interested in applying must attend one of the fairs in order to be considered for housing. Attendees will hear a 45-minute presentation detailing the qualifications a family must meet, the selection process, floor-plan options and how much of their own labor they’ll be expected to contribute to the build.

The fairs are scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Saturday and will be held in the McGuire Room at the main branch of the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave.

Habitat for Humanity Family Services Manager Nancy Kiogima said the organization hopes to build five homes between June 2014 and July 2015.

“We cover three counties, so our goal is to build four in the Depot Neighborhood and one in an outlying area,” Kiogima said.

The Depot Neighborhood in Traverse City is a new affordable, environmentally friendly home project. Habitat for Humanity and HomeStretch Nonprofit Housing Corp. are working together to build 21 energy-efficient homes in the neighborhood. The goal is to keep utility costs down for homeowners while leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

“Not only are their house payments lower, but their utility payments are lower,” Kiogima said. “That leaves money for transportation and child care costs, and for them to put food on their table, and all the other things that people have to give up.”

Once a family submits a housing application to Habitat for Humanity, the organization determines if the family qualifies financially to participate in a home build. The total cost of the family’s current housing must be more than 30 percent of its income, and homeowners must have the ability to make monthly payments on the Habitat home once it’s built.

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