A reason to be thankful: Habitat home

Published 2:21 am Thursday, November 24, 2016

When Stacy Mulkey first heard about Habitat for Humanity building a home in Florala, she immediately began seeking more information.

“I would ride by there and ask for information,” Mulkey recalled. “About three years ago, I found out they were coming back down here, so I went and applied.”

Members of the Habitat for Humanity organization, along with a host of volunteers, have been working on the seventh Habitat home in Covington County, located at 22400 Eighth Ave. in Florala. Work began in October.

Before they got to that point, Mulkey had put hours and hours of sweat equity into other Habitat projects, as required by the group.

“I went and helped with the house on Airport Road,” Mulkey said. “Then on the one behind the courthouse. Sometimes it would just be me and Mr. (Dale) Pancake. I just kept calling them.”

Habitat families are required to earn 300 sweat equity hours before they occupy their home. Each family must be able to provide these hours either directly or through friends, relatives, church family as a direct investment into their home. They are also required to make a very small monetary down payment.

Habitat builds the homes as economically as possible, and sells them to the new owners at cost. Families interested in qualifying for a Habitat home must document sufficient income to pay a monthly mortgage, which is typically in the range of $300 to $350 per month, including insurance and taxes.

In February, Mulkey learned that Habitat was ready to build in Florala, and that she and her two youngest sons, Anthony Stone, 13, and Jeremiah Stone, 6, would be the beneficiaries.

“I can’t describe how it feels,” she said. “I can’t put it into words. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe this is happening to me.”

Mulkey talked about her new home as she bagged groceries and greeted customers by name at the Piggly Wiggly in Florala, where she has worked for four years. Her co-workers agreed she is a most deserving recipient.

Mulkey said she was nervous about the responsibilities of home ownership at first.


“Then I started thinking that I had been paying rent all those many years,” she said. “I can do this.”

Mulkey will be at the Piggly Wiggly again today from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m., then she’s joining friends for a Thanksgiving meal.

Dale Pancake, who founded the local Habitat, expressed his thanks everyone who has helped make Mulkey’s house possible.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to all of our volunteers, donors an the professional folks that make our home construction mission possible,” he said.