Habitat needs families to build, rehab homes for - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Habitat needs families to build, rehab homes for

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WATERLOO (KWWL)-- Heartland Habitat for Humanity has helped nearly 100 families get homes in northeast Iowa over the past two decades.  Currently, the group is working to rehab or build homes for 16 families.  Even through there are enough projects to go around, Habitat still needs more families to apply for the program.      

Volunteers with Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity are busy putting in flooring and the other finishing touches at a home in the 1200 block of Bauch Street in Waterloo.  In May, Annie Williams and her two young sons will move into that house.  Williams is thrilled because she knows should could not have become a homeowner any other way.

"It's amazing.  My future looks so much brighter with my boys, and I'm so excited.  There's no words to describe how grateful you can be to Habitat.  I could say thank you all day long, and it doesn't even sum it up," Williams said.

Habitat volunteers will complete several more homes this year.  But to meet the goal of building or rehabbing a dozen homes next year, more families are needed.

"We need six more families for 2012.  And because it takes a while for them to get their 300 hours of sweat equity completed, they really need to start a year to 18 months ahead of when their home would be finished," said Linda Morgan, executive director of Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity.

That sweat equity is how Habitat's partner families build their own homes and the homes of other Habitat recipients.  As a result, neighborhoods improve and family lives change.  Heartland's director says many families just don't think they'll qualify for the program.  But often, Habitat can help you do what's needed to get approved.

"They might think they have too much debt.  And that is true.  Some families do have too much debt.  But we work with them and say, ‘If you take care of these bills, then you will be able to qualify.'  And part of it is just having the self confidence to say, ‘Well I can at least try.  There's no harm in trying,'" Morgan said.

And going through those steps just might put you on the path to owning a quality, affordable home.

Heartland Habitat builds homes in Black Hawk, Bremer and Butler Counties.  Generally, families earning between $20,000 and $35,000 per year can qualify for a Habitat home.  To learn more about applying, call Habitat at (319) 235-9946 or click here.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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