Local News

Habitat for Humanity has homes for qualified buyers

Posted June 1, 2009 6:10 p.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2009 5:35 p.m. EDT

— Chances are you have probably heard of Habitat for Humanity, and maybe even volunteered. But, you may not know how the program works, or how easy it can be to own a home.

Habitat homes often go to people who wouldn't qualify for a traditional mortgage, like the Ksor family. They came to the U.S. from Vietnam, fleeing their native land for political reasons.

Hlep Ksor works as a dishwasher. Keo Ksor, 14, helps translate for her parents who can't speak English well.

"I can't wait to move to this home, very excited (and) happy to have a new home,” Keo Ksor said.

But, you don't have to have a unique story like the Ksor family to qualify for a Habitat home.

"If you make the equivalent of around $8 per hour, you qualify for a Habitat home,” said Miguel Rubiera, Habitat of Durham executive director.

Rubiera says many people don't realize there is no down payment in exchange for 300 hours of labor. Recipients do have to fall into a certain income range. They also must be a legal resident of the United States, have steady employment and no unpaid judgments.

"It is not as difficult as it sounds,” Rubiera said.

Once a family takes ownership of a Habitat home, they start making mortgage payments at a 0 percent interest rate for life.

“From the day that they move in the new home, they are building equity in their lives,” Rubiera said.

If you want to learn more about becoming a Durham County Habitat homeowner, a seminar is planned at Trinity United Methodist Church, 215 N Church St., at 11 a.m. on June 13.

Habitat Wake County is also holding a series of information sessions at 2420 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh.

  • June 6 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • June 16 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • July 11 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  •  July 21 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • August 8 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • August 18 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Applicants do not need to register in advance, and there is no fee to apply or attend.

For information about Habitat Orange County, call 919-932-7077.