“The Challenge of Finding Those Who Need Us”

  • Monday, June 30, 2014

WHAT: Dorchester Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Orientation Meetings

WHEN: Monday, June 30, 2014 and Wednesday, July 16, 2014 • 6:00 PM – Meetings begin,

no admission after 6:00 pm

WHO: Jaye Jones Elliott, Executive Director, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity

WHERE: Summerville Branch, Dorchester County Library, 76 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, SC

WHY: Dorchester Habitat for Humanity (“DHFH”) currently faces specific challenges to partnering with families in need of affordable, decent, and adequate housing. The organization is struggling to find the very families that need the assistance provided by, and may qualify for help from, the Homeownership Program (“Program”). Although monthly Orientation Meetings are held locally, there is the challenge of how and where to advertise the Meetings so that families in need of affordable, decent, and adequate housing will be informed.

Secondly, in an effort to develop successful homeowners for generations to come, DHFH has strengthened the Program’s qualifications by requiring that partner families have a zero balance for any collections and requiring a debt-to-income ratio of 31% or lower. Like many other loan providers, DHFH is focused on improving the financial, budget, and credit profiles of low-wealth neighbors. A partnership with Family Services, Inc. (a nonprofit HUD approved counseling agency) allows DHFH to offer budget, credit, and financial counseling to low-wealth families who are interested in the Program. Interested families should not be discouraged from applying for the Program because DHFH and Family Services, Inc. provide the tools necessary to meet the Program’s qualifications: “Even if families do not qualify now that does not mean they would not be able to in the future,” says Executive Director, Jaye Elliott, “If you, or someone you know, is in a poor living situation, please refer them to us”.

DHFH plans to construct or renovate five homes in the upcoming fiscal year. To date, there are only two partner families working on the required number of sweat-equity hours. Therefore, DHFH does not have enough partner families to benefit from these home buying opportunities. On average, it takes a family one year to earn their home buying opportunity, depending on their level of commitment.

Join Dorchester Habitat for Humanity for either of their upcoming Homeownership Orientation Meetings on Monday, June 30th or Wednesday, July 16th at 6 pm at the Summerville Branch of the Dorchester County Library.

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