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The Impact of Homeownership

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     In a community where many of us have never known growing up without a home, the impact of homeownership can be diluted. At Habitat Kent, we’re honored to partner with families who experience the impact of the homeownership process and beyond.

     The living situation before many of our homebuyers start the Habitat program is dire. Families are living in cramped apartments or rental units while overpaying for rent and utilities.

     “My whole life I’ve been always moving, all the time,” said homebuyer Jasmine. “As a kid, if I didn’t switch schools three times per year then it wasn’t normal to me. I couldn’t make friends or call anywhere home. It was really hard for us. Life was chaotic.”

     Each homebuyer story is unique, but each member of the program shows a need for homeownership, ability to pay for a home, and a willingness to partner with Habitat Kent

     “It’s different than our previous living situations,” said homeowner Laura. “We really want to take care of this home because it’s ours. We’ll have space to have our own personal moments, we won’t be so crowded in the same space anymore.”

     The impact of homeownership begins with the program, where homebuyers need to earn at least 275 hours (depending on house makeup) of sweat equity that includes financial and homeowner education courses.

     “Habitat is a great program and I’m blessed to be in it,” said homeowner Keith. “They give something to help you, but at the same time you have to be willing to take care of it.”  

     After the homebuyer becomes the homeowner and the house becomes a home, the impact continues.

A 2012 Davenport University study of Habitat Kent homeowners shows that:

  • 68% of families report an increase in their income
  • 25% of families report better grades in school for their children
  • 23% of families report less sickness
  • 58% of families report less family conflict
  • 40% of families report obtaining additional education

     “A safe, decent, affordable home is like a vaccine,” Dr. Megan Sandel of the Boston University School of Medicine testified to Congress in 2007. “It literally prevents disease. A safe home can prevent mental health and developmental problems, a decent home may prevent asthma or lead poisoning, and an affordable home can prevent stunted growth and unnecessary hospitalizations.”

     This “vaccine” not only can make a family healthier it can provide greater confidence. A homeowner survey of Habitat Denver showed that 99% of homeowners have set different goals for themselves since moving into their Habitat Home.

     Having a stable home united with a stable community can enhance the impact of homeownership exponentially. This is why Habitat Kent has focused on the work of neighborhood revitalization to enhance the impact of homeownership.

     A 2015 study conducted by Wilder Research of Habitat for Humanity Minnesota affiliates showed that: “More than 80 percent of homeowners reported they feel connected to their community, and over half said they participate more in community activities.”

     “Both Dancille and I have dreams of going back to school and getting degrees,” said homeowner Ignace about him and his wife. “And we’re excited to raise our girls in the Black Hills neighborhood and give them opportunity for their future as well.”

     From the early stages of applying to sweat equity, educational classes, the dedication, closing, and mortgage payments, our homeowners are living examples of what a home can change in a family.

In a community where many of us have never known growing up without a home, the impact of homeownership can be diluted. At Habitat Kent, we’re honored to partner with families who experience the impact of the homeownership process and beyond.

The living situation before many of our homebuyers start the Habitat program is dire. Families are living in cramped apartments or rental units while overpaying for rent and utilities.

“My whole life I’ve been always moving, all the time,” said homebuyer Jasmine. “As a kid, if I didn’t switch schools three times per year then it wasn’t normal to me. I couldn’t make friends or call anywhere home. It was really hard for us. Life was chaotic.”

Each homebuyer story is unique, but each member of the program shows a need for homeownership, ability to pay for a home, and a willingness to partner with Habitat Kent

“It’s different than our previous living situations,” said homeowner Laura. “We really want to take care of this home because it’s ours. We’ll have space to have our own personal moments, we won’t be so crowded in the same space anymore.”

The impact of homeownership begins with the program, where homebuyers need to earn at least 275 hours (depending on house makeup) of sweat equity that includes financial and homeowner education courses.

“Habitat is a great program and I’m blessed to be in it,” said homeowner Keith. “They give something to help you, but at the same time you have to be willing to take care of it.”  

After the homebuyer becomes the homeowner and the house becomes a home, the impact continues.

A 2012 Davenport University study of Habitat Kent homeowners shows that:

·       68% of families report an increase in their income

·       25% of families report better grades in school for their children

·       23% of families report less sickness

·       58% of families report less family conflict

·       40% of families report obtaining additional education

“A safe, decent, affordable home is like a vaccine,” Dr. Megan Sandel of the Boston University School of Medicine testified to Congress in 2007. “It literally prevents disease. A safe home can prevent mental health and developmental problems, a decent home may prevent asthma or lead poisoning, and an affordable home can prevent stunted growth and unnecessary hospitalizations.”

This “vaccine” not only can make a family healthier it can provide greater confidence. A homeowner survey of Habitat Denver showed that 99% of homeowners have set different goals for themselves since moving into their Habitat Home.

Having a stable home united with stable community can enhance the impact of homeownership exponentially. This is why Habitat Kent has focused on the work of neighborhood revitalization to enhance the impact of homeownership.

A 2015 study conducted by Wilder Research of Habitat for Humanity Minnesota affiliates showed that: “More than 80 percent of homeowners reported they feel connected to their community, and over half said they participate more in community activities.”

“Both Dancille and I have dreams of going back to school and getting degrees,” said homeowner Ignace about him and his wife. “And we’re excited to raise our girls in the Black Hills neighborhood and give them opportunity for their future as well.”

From the early stages of applying, to sweat equity, educational classes, the dedication, closing, and mortgage payments, our homeowners are living examples of what a home can change in a family.

 

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Stories change the world and change lives. As the Habitat for Humanity of Kent County Communications Specialist I desire to share these powerful stories with you. 

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Guest Friday, 24 November 2017

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF KENT COUNTY

CONTACT US
616-774-2431
425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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