Sunday will be a special day for two local families as their homes, built with the help of the Habitat for Humanity, are dedicated. At 2 p.m. at 510 Mineral Springs Drive and at 4 p.m. at 330 Gwyn Ave., the Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity will host dedication ceremonies for these completed projects, with the families closing on their new homes in mid-December.
At the Jonesville Town Council meeting last Monday, Habitat Executive Director Claire Sellars updated the community on two Mineral Springs projects being completed. The corner lot sold in May to a family who had previously been living in a home with no heat.
The other Jonesville home, which will be dedicated this coming weekend, will house a family with a 6-year-old child who has had to sleep on a crib mattress because there were no properly heated spaces available to even put a mattress on the floor, according to Sellars.
The Elkin family relocated to the area and has been living in apartments with sub-standard heating and cooling. Sellars said, “That’s the biggest problem we have around here.”
These families were “looking to make a better life for them and their kids,” said Sellars, who explained that applicants “have a stable source of income but may not have the income level needed for a bank loan.”
“Habitat is basically a bank,” expounded Sellars. “We have to follow the same rules as BB&T. We do credit checks and verify that they can afford a mortgage payment. What makes our homes affordable is that there’s no interest rate.”
Should a family not qualify, Sellars said, “We tell them what they need to do to qualify and ask them to try again later.”
Participants must complete at least 300 hours of volunteer service with Habitat. This includes construction as well as program activities such as manning the booth during the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival where the community is invited to write well wishes on 2×4’s that will be used in later projects.
In addition to volunteering, the families also take classes to help them with everything from finances and home maintenance to pet ownership. “One hundred percent of our families get a pet,” stated Sellars, exuding the excitement of home ownership.
The most recent financial class was Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” facilitated by Habitat board member Barry Revis. Sellars stated she very much appreciated the time Revis and the families dedicated to the class that took place every Monday for nine weeks.
The Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity has served all of Yadkin County since 1988 as well as the Tri-County area, which includes Elkin up to Dobson, Jonesville, Ronda, Thurmond and the surrounding areas. Other divisions of Habitat cover the rest of the counties with an office in Mount Airy that takes care of Surry county and one in Wilkesboro serving Wilkes County.
Habitat exists through the generosity of donations and various fundraisers. Sellars stated, “Our number one source of funding is our ReStore. Community volunteers are also important rather at construction sites, events or in the office.
“We are looking for families with a housing need, has the ability to pay an affordable mortgage and a willingness to partner with Habitat,” said Sellars. The annual income required of a family is based on the median income of the county.
For more information, email [email protected], call 336-526-2277 or go to www.uyvhabitat.org.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.