Have you ever wondered about Habitat for Humanity? Who is it really for and how do you apply?
Maybe I should back track a bit first and tell you more about where I live now and why I am interested in Habitat for Humanity. I currently live in a 3 bedroom townhouse that well has seen better days in a neighborhood that is known as one of the worst in Canada. I work for a non profit company and get wages that reflect that. I'm not complaining, in fact I am right where I feel that I am meant to be. It's just that costs for housing are steadily on the rise with everything else and I would much prefer to raise Mister and Lil Miss somewhere that pushers and prostitutes weren't hanging around. Crazy notion I know. Now if I wasn't shoeless (single) and actually had a double income I could afford to go out and get a mortgage but as it stands alone I can't afford a 400000+ mortgage.
Enter Habitat for Humanity. This fabulous organization partners with families like mine and helps put home ownership within reach.
Right now there are (approximate) 10 families applying for 1 house to be built here in my home town. I picked up an application last week and thought I would share the process with you as I am going through it.
The criteria for applying in the upper Fraser valley area include need, ability to pay a mortgage, and sweat equity. Need covers a few things. So first there is looking at if a family has enough rooms, proper plumbing, what kind of neighborhood they live in etc. yes this is for lower income families but there must be a demonstrated ability to pay an interest free mortgage on the home. I was told the income for this region is between 35000-52000 per year. They want home ownership to be a blessing not a burden, so looking at money is a huge priority here, you can't be shy about it. Sweat equity is the term Habitat for Humanity has for volunteer hours. It's really about making sure the partner family has buy in on the project and it helps carry the projects ahead. Well and really how cool to say you hped build your house and why wouldn't you want to help an organization that has made giving your family a home a reality. UFV Habitat for Humanity does require 500 hours of sweat equity from the partner family so if you aren't committed this isn't for you.
The application form is quite in-depth, it felt like I was just bearing all for a committee of strangers. It asks about where you have lived, where you are living now, work history, T4's and all financial information. You need documentation for everything too even copies of your birth certificate to prove your a Canadian.
I struggled the most trying to get a rent receipt. I picked the application up 1 week ago and had it all done except for that. I did get my bank to send me copies of the rent cheques to add to the paperwork. I also wasn't shy about including pictures of my current home things like my fence that is falling over that was supposed to be replaced a year ago. Pictures of the flooring that is pealing up or the carport off of its foundation.
I don't know how long it will take before I find out if I remain in the running for this amazing opportunity but what I plan to do is keep writing about this. With any luck someone will find this that could use this information for themselves.