Torrington families invited to apply for Habitat for Humanity home

LAKEVILLE – Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut is now accepting applications from eligible families interested in home ownership in Torrington. The deadline to apply is May 31.

“Construction of the house on Hemlock Road in Torrington is preparing to begin, and we need to recruit a partner family to work alongside Habitat volunteers and skilled tradespeople to complete the project,” the members said in a statement. communicated.

The mission of the Habitat affiliate in Northwest Connecticut is to facilitate home ownership of simple, yet decent and affordable homes for local working families, who find themselves out of the market due to the spiral of escalating prices and/or limited incomes that deny them access to the traditional mortgage. sources, according to Habitat. Family composition is irrelevant and never considered in Habitat’s qualification process. However, to qualify for a Habitat home, applicants must meet three separate criteria.

The family must have a pressing need to improve their living conditions: crowding too many family members into a one-bedroom apartment, experiencing severe mold conditions, a failing or inadequate heating system, poor insulation, or any other problem that significantly impairs quality of life will deem a family eligible.

“The applicant must also demonstrate a reasonable sense of responsibility to meet current financial obligations, such as rent, as well as verify sufficient income to keep up with Habitat’s comfortably affordable monthly payments,” according to Habitat.

Finally, Habitat households must commit to partnering with Habitat by investing 400 hours of their labor in building the house; 200 hours is the number of hours that a partner family must invest for a rehabilitated house; and 100 hours must be donated by actual partner family, but friends and others can help.

This commitment, according to Habitat, often means working to build their own Habitat home, or even someone else’s. But they can also earn such “sweat equity” in other ways, such as volunteering to participate in Habitat fundraising events and other activities. Any family member can donate time to be credited as sweat equity – even more distant friends and relatives are welcome to help.

“Habitat’s proven formula for home affordability is based on three key factors: first, by keeping acquisition and construction costs low. Second, by having wonderful volunteers who help build the house and third, by providing interest-free mortgages,” said Bob Whelan, board member of Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut.

Building land is acquired either by donation or at a considerably reduced price. Dedicated volunteers, including the partner/owner family, provide the construction labor, under the competent supervision of trained professionals. Local vendors, artisans, and artisans donate or offer heavily discounted prices for high-quality supplies, materials, and skilled labor. Other local businesses and individual donors are also funding the process, Habitat members said.

Once construction or rehabilitation is complete, Habitat assumes the role of lender, providing a zero interest mortgage for a reasonable term that best suits the financial strength of the qualifying applicant. As a result, mortgage payments for a homeowner/housing partner family can be as low as half of what they would normally be for a conventional mortgage, even lower than prevailing market rents for an equivalent home.

At Torrington, the one-story structure will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with an open kitchen, dining room and living room. Many sustainable building practices and features will be incorporated into the home, such as LED lighting, insulation that exceeds code, a high-efficiency heating and hot water system as well as a possible photovoltaic array on the roof. . These features help keep long-term costs to a minimum, Habitat members said.

“We’re not just about bricks or mortar, hammers and nails,” said Tracy Atwood, president of Habitat’s northwest Connecticut branch. “We really want people’s dreams to come true. This home is an exceptionally special opportunity for a family who never thought they could afford to own a home in one of the communities we serve.

Responding to housing needs in Sharon, Salisbury Town, North Canaan, Norfolk, Canaan/Falls Village, Torrington and Cornwall, Habitat, acting as both builder and lender, has already helped 13 families achieve their dream of home ownership.

To apply, call Evan Cooper at 860-435-4747, or submit an email request for an application package all of which can be emailed – [email protected]

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