July 04, 2012 - Did you know that a coalition of businesses, government officials, houses of worship, nonprofits, and schools is forming to build a Habitat for Humanity home here in Clarkston this fall?
Just a few weeks ago several area community leaders met in my office to continue the momentum. Habitat for Humanity's Oakland County affiliate has agreed to provide project management and support to the movement, starting with the acquisition and renovation of a foreclosed or vacant house in the Clarkston area for a local family.
Clarkston Community Church will provide seed funding and leadership for the project, culminating in a community volunteer effort in September and October.
Upon the renovation of the home in October, the family will move in before Thanksgiving.
A big question is, "How will a family be selected?"
I think it's important to clear up several misunderstandings.
First, Habitat homes are NOT just given to people. The family must pay for them, put in sweat equity, and go through extensive training that will help them keep the home.
Secondly, you do NOT have to be absolutely broke, with no income.
There are three basic qualifications to be a Habitat home owner:
DO YOU HAVE NEED? For example, is your current home unsafe? Are you living in someone else's home? Are you unable to obtain a conventional mortgage?
CAN YOU PAY FOR YOUR NEW HOME? You must have an on-going source of income. The cost of the Habitat will be greatly reduced, but it is not free.
In fact, a family of four generally needs to make between $19,600 and $52,250 a year to qualify.
ARE YOU WILLING TO PARTNER WITH HABITAT? You must be willing to put in sweat equity and take classes that will help you be a successful home owner.
We are in the search mode now! So don't hesitate!
If you think you may qualify –or know someone who might – go to www.habitatoakland.org and download a free copy of the pre-application form.
Also, if you want to be involved in this Habitat build this fall, contact Habitat for Humanity at 248-338-1843.
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." - Jesus
The Rev. Greg Henneman is pastor of Clarkston Community Church.