By Lillian Bowe
The search for a new partner family for the Roosevelt and Curry County Habitat for Humanity has been a hard one this year.
After their last build that ended in December, Habitat for Humanity has gone through 14 applicants.
Joyce Davis, executive director of Habitat for Humanity for Roosevelt and Curry County, said each applicant either did not meet the requirements or backed out of being a home owner.
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families with an inadequate housing situation and offers the home with a no-interest mortgage to make it more affordable.
“When we have applicants they have to fill out an application and bring in information. Since we offer a no-interest mortgage, they have to bring information that a bank would need for anyone getting a regular mortgage,” Davis said.
Applicants must present income verification for the past six months, utility bills for the past three months, other monthly bills for the past three months, bank statements for the past six months, IRS tax forms for the past three years and W2 forms for the past three years.
Davis said applicants must be in a home that is unsuitable and the selection committee will go to the house to inspect.
“The home could be too small for the number of people living in it, it could have mold or is not well insulated,” Davis said.
Another qualification is the total income is not more than 50 percent, nor less than 30 percent of the Roosevelt or Curry County median family income.
For a four-member household in Roosevelt County, the lowest is $14,150 and highest is $23,600. Curry County for the same amount of members is $15,750 lowest and $26,250 highest.
After all the information is given, the family is interviewed by the selection committee.
Once a family is approved for a home, they must take a finance class, which will help the family pay the monthly mortgage payments and the family must do volunteer hours called “sweat equity.”
The partner family must help build their home. A single parent household must complete 300 hours and a two parent household must put in 500 hours of sweat equity.
Davis said the time it takes for an application to be processed is a month and as soon as the family is approved, building starts almost immediately.
The applicants that were not approved for a home can reapply according to Davis.
“Our last partner family, Gay Luna, applied three times before she was approved. So no one should be discouraged,” Davis said.
It takes eight to nine months for a house to be built according to Davis.
Davis said the next home could be either in Clovis or Portales and it is dependent on where the new partner family wants to live.
Marge Rhode, operation manager at Habitat, said she hopes the next build is mostly by women.
Early in May, Rhodes and several other women participated in the Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build.
“It will be really great to see the whole house being built by mostly women and it organized by women. They can do it all,” Rhodes said.
Davis said once a partner family is chosen, volunteers will be sought to help build the home.