East Bay family sought for Habitat House in Bristol

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Habitat for Humanity of East Bay is beginning the search process to find a family for its future home planned in Bristol.

“We bought the Bristol property in January and are looking forward to the next step of identifying our family, which is when the real work begins,” said Susan Donovan, president of the chapter’s board of directors.

The organization purchased vacant land on Wall Street at Center Street where the new home will be built. Ms. Donovan said that Habitat for Humanity homes are not given away for free, but considers the applicant’s need, ability to pay for the home and a willingness to partner with the organization.

“As with Habitat homes worldwide, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their house and the houses of others,” Ms. Donovan said.

Families or individuals who currently live or work in Bristol, Warren, Barrington, East Providence, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport, Jamestown, or Little Compton can fill out a homeowner inquiry form.

A potential Habitat homeowner must have sufficient monthly income to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance without becoming debt-burdened.  Applicants must have an annual family income of 60-percent or less than the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) local median income and debt payments inclusive of the monthly housing payment that do not exceed 50 percent of the applicant’s income.

All applicants must have a steady source of income. A third party will do a comprehensive analysis of the family’s ability to pay which will include detailed income verification, budget analysis and credit checks. Bankruptcy does not disqualify an applicant as long as it has been discharged for at least two years.

A few examples of need may include structural inadequacies in the present home, overcrowding, inadequate number of bedrooms, unhealthy conditions, living with friends or relatives and cost burdened with over 30 percent of income going to housing costs.

Applicants can complete the homeowner inquiry form by downloading it from the chapter’s website at www.habitateastbayri.org or by emailing a request to hfhbristolri@gmail.com.

The organization hopes to begin construction by winter.

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