GREENFIELD — The gray and white house in a quiet cul-de-sac near downtown Greenfield stands as a message to people struggling to find a place of their own: here, it says, there is hope.
And Habitat for Humanity officials want more people to hear that message. The relief organization, which recently built its first house in Greenfield, will host an informational session about its home ownership program at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 1141 U.S. 40 West in Greenfield.
Habitat, a Christian organization, partners with community stakeholders to build housing for people in need, offering a 0 percent interest affordable mortgage to program participants, according to the organization’s website. Though the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity has invited county residents to come to its informational sessions in Indianapolis, this is the first time the organization has hosted such a session in Hancock County, an event that comes on the heels of the first local Habitat build, said Abri Hochstetler, Greater Indy Habitat marketing and communications manager.
Habitat operations expanded to include Hancock County in mid-2015, when Habitat opened its Hancock County ReStore, a home improvement thrift store that sells donated new and gently used merchandise at a discount to the public. Proceeds benefit the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat finished its first house in Hancock County this summer for housing program participant Trish Botta. Botta, a single mother of two, lived in New Palestine with her sister while her $75,000 Greenfield house was being built.
The organization built 25 homes in the greater Indianapolis area in 2015 and planned to build 21 this year. Habitat plans to build one more house in Hancock County in 2017, and any further builds will be based on interest, both of volunteers and potential homeowners, Hochstetler said.
There are three main requirements to become a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, and organizers are looking to spread the word in the Greenfield area, Hochstetler said. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need for housing and also be unable to apply for a traditional mortgage. They must be willing to put in 300 hours of “sweat equity,” which includes volunteering to help build other Habitat homes and take classes on money management and home ownership. They must also submit to a debt-to-income ratio analysis to determine their eligibility for the program.
The organization offers seven different house models and selects them based on the family’s needs, the lot size and architectural style of the neighborhood. The homes are three to five bedrooms and between 1,100 and 1,700 square feet.
Applications to become a Habitat homeowner will be available at the information session.
Who: People interested in applying for Habitat for Humanity home ownership
What: Informational session
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 1141 W. U.S. 40, Greenfield
How to sign up: Those planning to attend the informational session may register in advance by visiting indyhabitat.volunteerhub.com. Select Saturday’s date, then scroll down to the Hancock County information session.
More information is also available on the Greater Indy Habitat Facebook page.