Habitat project

Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity is looking for a partner/homeowner for a new build they’re taking on in late September at 108 18th St., Huntingdon Borough.

As it embarks on its next build in later this month, Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity is looking for someone to call the project home.

The home is a three-bedroom, one-bath home at 108 18th St., Huntingdon Borough, and construction is expected to begin later this month, according to Habitat board members.

Dave Drews with Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity discussed what is required for a family to partner with Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity for a home.

“There are three basic requirements to be eligible to be a Habitat homeowner,” said Drews. “First, the potential family needs to have a significant housing problem. For example, they may not have enough bedrooms for their family size, their house is unsafe, the heat may be inadequate or rental and utility costs exceed their budgets.”

Monthly income of families is also needed to see if they qualify for a Habitat home.

“Families must have enough monthly income to pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and other living expenses,” said Drews. “Their income must also be enough to pay any current debt. In Huntingdon County, the income limit for a family of four is between $31,000 and $50,000, before taxes are taken out. Minimum income for a family of two is $25,000, if there is no current debt. That’s about $500 income per week before taxes.”

Sweat equity is also required for families that wish to partner with Habitat for a home.

The third requirement is that the family is willing to partner with Habitat to help to build their house and to participate in a mentoring program,” said Drews. “Families in the Huntingdon chapter need to contribute 300 hours of sweat equity. Friends and family members can help contribute construction hours. Sweat equity is a way to keep costs down, but is also a way to help families gain skills that can be used in home maintenance and helps to develop a sense of pride in ownership.”

Unlike previous projects that have taken at least a year to complete, this renovation is not expected to last long, as the home is not in poor condition, so it’s important to express interest to Habitat board members immediately.

“Builds usually happen Saturday mornings and one other morning of the week,” said Drew. “So, you and your family need to have time to commit to working on your house. Because of the sweat equity requirement, and because this build will be faster than normal, we need to have a partner selected by Nov. 15.”

Families are also assigned a mentor from Habitat to help them to prepare to become homeowners.

The mentor and families meet periodically as the house is being built to help them prepare to become homeowners, including preparing for and budgeting expenses that are associated with homeownership,” said Drews.

To get more information about becoming a family partner now or in the future, contact the Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity by leaving a message at 386-7265 or by emailing huntingdonhabitat@yahoo.com. A family selection person will get back to interested parties.

If anyone wants to learn more about Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity or consider donating to the organization, they can use the same contact information to learn more.

Kylie can be reached at khawn@huntingdondailynews.com.

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