Habitat For Humanity Providing Affordable Homeownership for Low-Income Families During Pandemic

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DES MOINES, Iowa– Greater Des Moines Habitat For Humanity is helping low-income families become homeowners with a new program. 

The executive director of Greater Des Moines Habitat For Humanity, Lance Henning, said this program is all about meeting Iowans where they’re at to provide affordable housing. 

“When we work with Habitat family and they do their partnership with sweat equity and the education on there. Then we make sure it’s affordable for them and so the family then pays 30% or less for their housing costs to be able to own their home,” Henning said.  “We work with each family to make sure that they’re successful and, and so it’s affordable to the families that we work with.” 

To qualify for this program you must earn 30-60 percent of the area median income, prove a need for affordable housing by showing current pay stubs, and be willing to partner through sweat equity which means helping build Habitat For Humanity homes. 

Participants in the program will also take homebuyer education courses. 

“They are talking a lot about personal finance and budgeting and understanding the finances and the bills that are going to come with homeownership and being able to be successful with that. They also talk about what it means to be a good neighbor and also how to take care of your asset,” Henning said. 

Since its inception in 1986, Greater Des Moines Habitat For Humanity has helped over 400 families become homeowners and nearly 20 families last year. 

Henning said the pandemic has shown a need for homeownership now, more than ever. 

“As we think about folks that have had to work from home, folks have had to go to school at home, having a safe place to shelter in place is some of the reasons to be able to be a homeowner,” Henning said. “At the same time, when you’re a homeowner you build wealth in yourself and your family for the long run on their building that equity.” 

Habitat For Humanity will be taking applications until April 30th. Habitat For Humanity’s Rock The Block campaign helps central Iowa homeowners with critical repairs and weatherization. WHO13 is going to help renovate the homes of 13 families. Visit our Rock the Block page on WHO13.com to learn more.

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