Habitat for Humanity looking for eligible Medicine Hat family

By Charles Lefebvre
May 7, 2019 - 5:32pm Updated: May 7, 2019 - 7:26pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is waiting for another family to be approved before they can put shovels in the ground on their new project.

Back in November, Habitat for Humanity announced a new duplex to be built on Southlands Drive, with the goal of breaking ground this spring. It would be the first Habitat build in Medicine Hat in six years.

However, the organization says there have been delays due to finding an eligible family for the home.

“Until the families are on-boarded, we can’t start the build, so it’s important for us to get families screened in,” said Annette Fahselt-Andreas, construction lead for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Fahselt-Andreas says they have one family in the city lined up, but need a second family in order to proceed. She says high debt loads from applicants are causing some people to not be eligible for the home.

“We’re finding that if families do qualify income wise and have the family, the children under 18, sometimes they’re not qualifying because of the debt load,” she said, noting the organization wants prospective homeowners to have a low debt load in order to afford the mortgage payments.

Habitat for Humanity requires at least one person from the home to be working full-time, consistent work history, no debt in collection, a minimum employment income of $37,000 per year (maximum household income is dependent on family size), and cannot currently own real estate.

Payments for the mortgage are geared to income, and will not exceed more than 25 per cent of the homeowner’s income.

Fahselt-Andreas says they are encouraging people to take the eligibility test, saying the may be surprised they qualify.

“There seems to be a bit of, some people maybe don’t want to try and qualify because they think that they won’t (be eligible) or maybe it’s a pride thing, but we would definitely like to present a home to somebody that’s deserving of it.”

The full requirements, and the eligibility test, can be found here. 

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