This year has been a year of historic milestones at Habitat! Not only are we building 19 homes this season, we just accepted 36 new families into the Habitat program — the largest group ever in a single season since our affiliate was founded in 1986.
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, Habitat GFW accepted 12 families. The next year, 17 new families joined the program. We were able to more than double the number of families accepted this year thanks to the tremendous support of community partners, donors, volunteers, and hard-working families in the program.
“After 36 years, our Habitat affiliate is just stepping into its potential,” said Andrew Gritzmaker, CEO at Habitat GFW. “The need for safe, decent, and affordable housing has never been greater — we’re seeing families priced out of homes due to the current market. These are hard-working families who are gainfully employed and have great track records for paying their bills on-time, they’re just not quite to the point of bankability or can’t find a house that meets their family’s needs based on their family size.”
The newest group of families celebrated their first day in the program at orientation last week. Partner families received their hard hat, reviewed expectations of the program, and looked forward to what’s to come over the next 12- to 18-months.
“What excites me the most is the hands-on construction work — I get to help build my own house,” said Amber, 2022 Habitat partner family. “I’m also in need of help with finances and budgeting, so I’m looking forward to learning and receiving help through Habitat’s classes.”
Pictured: Habitat partner family orientation at Indiana Tech
2021 partner family, Angie, spoke to the incoming group about her experience in the program thus far and gave some encouraging words as the group begins this new chapter in their lives.
“The staff at Habitat wants everyone in this room to succeed,” encouraged Angie. “They will do whatever they can to help you throughout this process — even if it’s as simple as asking them to pray for you.”
“There’s such a palpable excitement each time we bring on new families to the program,” described Lauren McCammon, Homeowner Services Manager at Habitat GFW. “That first night we’re all in a room together makes the dream of homeownership that much more real — we had several families ready to begin their sweat equity hours on the construction site the next day!”
Each qualified Habitat partner family is required to complete up to 250 hours of sweat equity, pay $1,000 toward the purchase of their home before close, and attend eight financial and homeowner education classes throughout a 12-to-18-month period. After completing the program, families close on their home and pay an affordable mortgage through Habitat. Now 36 more families are working toward owning their own home with a mortgage that fits into their budget.