News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 18, 2014

Habitat for Humanity hunting for Wabash Valley family to build house for

One house will be for veteran

TERRE HAUTE — Wabash Valley Habitat for Humanity is eager to build houses this year but are in need of families to apply to become a Habitat homeowner.

During the Veteran Family Partner Orientation at the VFW on Saturday, executive director Annette Houchin said that Habitat for Humanity is going to be building two houses this year.

One of the houses, set to begin construction in late spring, is going to be designated to a veteran. The other build, which is scheduled for late fall, is open to all qualified applicants.

Even though no potential veteran applicants attended Saturday’s orientation, the Veteran Family Partner Orientation was meant to inform veterans and their families of Habitat’s mission and how to become a Habitat Homeowner Partner Family.

Wabash Valley Habitat’s first veterans build aims to address the housing needs of veterans in the area and to reach out to the veteran community, Houchin said.

According to a Habitat for Humanity Veterans Build brochure, nearly 4 million veteran households pay more than 30 percent of income for housing and more than 1.5 million of these households pay more than 50 percent of income for housing.

“Nearly 1 million veterans who own homes are severely cost burdened, despite having access to VA loans and other assistance,” the brochure stated.

Among veterans, women and those with disabilities are more likely to experience severe housing cost burden, the Habitat file said.

In addition, 21.8 million Americans are veterans and 1.4 million live in poverty, according to Habitat for Humanity. “Despite falling home prices, many returning veterans do not earn enough to purchase a median-priced home and some do not earn enough to afford a typical two-bedroom rent.”

And Habitat is trying to get the word out.

“We need families to apply,” Houchin said.

Minimum guidelines for Habitat home ownership are: be a Vigo County resident for at least six months; have an income of 30 percent to 60 percent of the median income of Vigo County. For a family of four, the income range would be $16,100-$32,160, with credit in good standing.

Houchin said that starting next week, applicants can access the application on Habitat’s website, www.wvh4h.org.

And volunteers for the builds are also welcome.

“We are always in need of volunteers,” Houchin said, and the number of volunteers needed vary based on the construction stage. Work is usually done on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, she said.

Many students and military service personnel usually volunteer to be a part of the build, Houchin said.

To volunteer, contact the Habitat office at 812-235-5914. For more information about Habitat and the application, visit www.wvh4h.org or follow them on Facebook at Habitat Wabash Valley.

Wabash Valley Habitat for Humanity is at 2313 Tippecanoe St. in Terre Haute.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@trib star.com.

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