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Habitat group plans true 'home'coming for veteran

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bedford Builds Habitat For Humanity has announced plans to build its next home for a veteran.

The local chapter of Georgia-based non-profit Habitat For Humanity hopes to hold a groundbreaking on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, with a foundation to be laid this fall and most of the construction to take place next year, according to executive director Pam Birtcil.

For now, only one home is planned for the veterans' project, but if there were sufficient support two could be built, Birtcil said.

Who's eligible

The veteran would still have to meet the normal qualifications for a Habitat home: low income, a $750 down payment, educational classes on home ownership, and 350 hours of "sweat equity" spent working on their own or others' Habitat homes.

In the case of a disabled veteran, others could assist with the "sweat equity" portion of the requirements.

Owners of Habitat homes make a house payment; this year, the average payment is $350 per month, including principal, home insurance and property taxes.

As with normal Habitat homes, a committee will review applications and choose the best recipient from among the qualified applicants.

This year, Habitat is building two homes on Nutmeg Drive, after having built three there in 2011. Hopes are to build two or three homes in total next year.

Sponsors sought

The non-profit is looking for veterans who might qualify for a Habitat home and also for sponsors who might be interested in helping to support the project. Various sponsorship levels are available.

Habitat For Humanity was formed in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, and was widely publicized by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who have volunteered extensively for the organization and are perhaps its best-known participants.

It is dedicated to "partnership housing," with the homeowners contributing to the process through sweat equity.

Volunteer help

Volunteers build the home and serve in support roles (such as serving lunch), greatly reducing the cost of the house compared to a normal commercially-built home and enabling low payments for the new homeowners.

For more information, contact the Bedford Builds Habitat For Humanity office at 684-4300.

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