Habitat looking for new families

Published 12:04 am Friday, March 23, 2012

The process of choosing the next three Habitat for Humanity families will begin soon.

Ann Shakespeare, chair of the Covington County HFH family selection committee, said residents will have three opportunities next week to begin the application process to earn a Habitat home.

HFH is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization dedicated to building simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. To date, the local chapter has constructed three homes – one in Opp, Andalusia and Florala. The next build is set for Andalusia for Florala resident Tammy Taylor and her family.

Shakespeare said to qualify, families must meet certain guidelines, including income and willingness to partner with Habitat and their ability to repay the mortgage loan.

To meet income guidelines, the family’s annual income must range between $11,325 and $27,180, she said.

Meetings will be held on Thurs., March 29, in Andalusia at the county board of education building at 5:30 p.m.; on Fri., March 30, at Opp’s First Methodist Church at 5:30 p.m.; and on Sat., March 31, at the Florala adult activity center at 6 p.m.

Shakespeare said families should come prepared to fill out loan applications.

“The night’s meetings will consist of a short presentation, about 15 minutes or so about Habitat, and then, families will meet with a representative who will go step-by-step through the application process,” she said.

“No applications can leave the building, so you have to fill it out that night,” she said. “There will be three opportunities, so if you can’t make it to Andalusia, come to Opp. If you miss Opp, then come to Florala.”

Applicants must bring two months of pay stubs, all monthly bills such as for power, cell phone, etc., and two months of bank statements.

“This is our new partner family orientation meeting,” she said. “We’ve tried to advertise the meetings, get the word out. We sent flyers to all the schools, and we want to remind people this is a Covington County non-profit. We do build in every location in the county.

“At the last session, our Andalusia numbers were down a bit, so we’re hoping to see an increase there in the number of applicants,” she said. “People need to remember that this is a process. It’s not something that happens overnight. If you’re selected, it could take a year or two to get into a house.

“We’re trying to select at least three families, so while one build is going on, those families can help with that build,” she said. “Just remember, getting selected is just the first step.”

Those requesting information on how to become a partner family or those wishing to make donations should write to the local HFH chapter at: Covington County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1034 Andalusia, AL 36420.