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Bladen County Habitat for Humanity gearing up for new build in E’town

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By: Erin Smith

habitat-for-humanity-logoBladen County Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity and is preparing for a build on King Street in Elizabethtown.  Bladen County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Dawn Madden said the ground breaking for the new build site is set for Friday, August 12, at 10 a.m.

Madden said a family has been chosen for the house, but she is not ready just yet to reveal the name of the lucky family. 

Madden said this build is part of the State Employees Credit Union initiative to build a home in each county in North Carolina. She explained that the funds for this particular build will be coming from the initiative.

Madden said the group needs help from the folks in the county to make this build a success. She said that volunteers will be needed from start to finish to help with the construction as well as folks who are willing to supply snacks and lunches for the crews.  Madden said you do not have to have any specialized construction skills to participate in a Habitat for Humanity build, just a willingness to work and learn.

“There will be different (volunteer) needs as the build goes along,” said Madden.

She said build days will be every other Friday and Saturday.

Madden said that once the project is completed, Habitat’s needs don’t end there.

She said there is also a need for volunteers to serve as family support volunteers. These volunteers would serve as mentors to the new homeowners and help educate them on different areas of homeownership and also answer questions when the new homeowners have them. These questions might range from air conditioning to cleaning to lawn care.

Madden said Bladen County Habitat for Humanity is also accepting applications for homeowners.

“We will need people to apply for the next house,” said Madden.

She said there are certain criteria that a family will have to meet to be considered a candidate for a Habitat for Humanity home. Madden said the candidate must be a resident of Bladen County and there must be a legitimate need such as the home they currently reside in is deemed unsafe or uninhabitable or they have another legitimate need.

She said the candidate must also have the ability to pay for the home. They must demonstrate that have stable employment and the means to pay a mortgage payment on a monthly basis. Madden said they cannot have any outstanding judgments and they must provide an income history.

Madden said the candidate must not have filed for bankruptcy in the past two years.

Lastly, a candidate must have the willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. Madden said one of the requirements for a Habitat home recipient is what  is called, “sweat equity.” She said Habitat requires a family to perform 300 to 400 hours of work on the Habitat build called, “sweat equity.”

Madden said there are many ways a family can earn “sweat equity” including having family members help with the build, taking credit counseling courses, and such. Madden said that the family can receive credit towards to the hours as they complete any combination of activities to achieve their “sweat equity.”

Madden said that during the application process, members of Habitat for Humanity will meet with the family and explain the entire application process fully.

To volunteer for the build or to apply for a Habitat for Humanity home, contact Bladen County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Dawn Madden at 910-874-8702 or by email at bladenhabitat@gmail.com.