I believe so strongly in Habitat for Humanity. This past weekend, I had the privilege of doing a dedication for houses 48, 49, and 50. It has been my honor to sponsor and build these homes alongside my audience. And over the years, it's been such a joy being there with you to make it possible for hardworking families to own a home.
Habitat is all about personal responsibility. At the Atlanta affiliate where I often sponsor houses, they get 4,000 applicants each year and only about four dozen make it through the screening to get home.
That home is not given, it's just an opportunity to buy a home at a cheaper price. Here are some of the criteria families must meet before they become Habitat homeowners:
- Pass a thorough background check
- Undergo surprise, unscheduled home visits
- Complete 250 hours of "sweat equity" on other Habitat homes or on their own
- Attend 12 homeowner education classes and hands-on maintenance seminars
- Make all monthly payments on time as a renter for 1 year before a formal closing takes place. At that point, all the money paid thus far is applied as mortgage payments.
Habitat homes come with a mortgage interest rate of zero percent. Monthly payments tend to be $550 to $600, including taxes and insurance. And if you don't pay, then you don't stay.
Be sure to watch video from the dedication. Meanwhile, we've already started house number 51 in Tulsa thanks to my affiliate station KRMG!
As for you, I want you to think about getting involved, either with Habitat or with another organization where you can make a difference for your country and community. The secret sauce we have here in America that is so different from other places in the world is our spirit of volunteerism. We as Americans are willing to do something that doesn't benefit ourselves, but does benefit others.