May 28, 2014

A Hand Up, Not a Handout

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Completed Home

HUD and Habitat for Humanity team up to house single mother

The Hanover Habitat for Humanity in Hanover County, Virginia, executes its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live through a “hand up, not a handout” philosophy.

With 250 volunteers from developer HHHunt Homes and partially funded with a $498,000 HUD HOME program grant, Hanover Habitat for Humanity recently completed the first of nine homes planned for a mixed-income community in Hanover County.

Katharine Hunsaker, a working single mother of eight children, moved into her four-bedroom, one-story house in the Bailey Woods subdivision on April 26, a mere 25 days after construction began.  Habitat bought the five-acre subdivision seven years ago and will complete all nine of the houses by 2015.

“The subdivision will include very low-income and moderate-income families,” said Tim Bowring, executive director of Hanover Habitat for Humanity.

Every home is EarthCraft certified and highly energy efficient, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint and low utility bills for the homeowners.

With the help of grants like HUD’s HOME funds, Hanover Habitat for Humanity sells homes at below market value to families who are creditworthy, have at least a $28,000 annual income, are living in housing that is overcrowded, substandard or unaffordable and commit to provide 200 hours of sweat labor to build their new home.

Toni Schmiegelow is a senior management analyst in the Office of Field Policy and Management in HUD’s Richmond Field Office.

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