Archived Story

Potential county Habitat clients learn about program

Published 12:00am Sunday, October 7, 2012

PROCTORVILLE — The first meeting to expand Huntington, W.Va., Habitat for Humanity into Lawrence County brought out 10 families interested in participating in the Christian-based house-building agency.

“We had people from Ironton all the way up to Crown City,” Nikki Hagerman, family service coordinator at Habitat, said.

Potential Habitat clients at the informational meeting at Ohio University Southern-Proctorville on Thursday included single mothers and young families with children.

In August Habitat officials came to the Lawrence County Commission to announce the expansion of the once-exclusively Cabell County agency into Ohio. The agency has built 78 houses in that West Virginia county.

Last week Habitat purchased the tax lien of the Rome Township abandoned property as the site of one of its first houses. The lien was sold by Lawrence County Treasurer Stephen Burchett to Habitat for $1.

The agency must wait a year before it can foreclose on the property. Then it can demolish the house that is now a community eyesore and begin construction on a Habitat house.

“We are constantly looking for properties,” Hagerman said.

Potential clients at the meeting filled out applications providing biographical information, a copy of a pay stub and water bills to show proof of utility payments. They also had to describe why they need upgraded housing at this time.

“All and all people there were happy that Habitat was over there,” Hagerman said.

Part of the requirements to be a Habitat client is the new homeowner provides a specified number of sweat equity hours where they work on their house and other Habitat houses.

A single homeowner must perform 250 hours and two or more adults who will be living in the house must perform a total of 450 hours.

“That is all done before they can move into the house,” Hagerman said.

Half of those hours must be completed and half of the down payment made before clients can pick out a lot.

“If we have more than one property, we ask would they like this or that one and they can accept or deny,” she said.

Habitat plans to conduct another informational meeting in November, possibly in another location in the county.

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