For the last 26 years, the Cheboygan County Habitat for Humanity has been offering programs to assist the citizens of Cheboygan County in improving or building the place they call home. Cheboygan County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mandy Martin said there are several programs the entity uses on a day-to-day basis to help people, including the home ownership program.
“Through our program, Habitat Program Partners achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Martin. “Cheboygan County Habitat offers low to zero interest mortgage options to those who qualify for housing programs and then qualify for a mortgage.”
To qualify for this, an individual must show a need for housing, be able to afford an affordable mortgage payment and down payment, as well as be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity during the journey to owning their own home.
If someone is already a homeowner, but needs some help to make their home safer, Habitat has a home repair program. “This program is intended to provide funds for the rehabilitation of owner occupied, single family residential dwellings,” said Martin. “Repairs will focus on improvements that will reduce the long term costs of homeownership such as energy efficiency improvements and removal of health and safety risks.”
There are three different divisions of this program.
There are several qualifications people must meet in order to obtain help through the Habitat for Humanity. This includes everyone in the home being subject to a sex offender registry check, as anyone who is a registered sex offender is immediately disqualified from the program. The applicant must also occupy the home and be the owner of the home on the deed and tax documents.
Habitat for Humanity will disqualify anyone from the program if the home is in the condition in which it should be, or if it could be condemned or if the person plans to sell the home after the repairs are complete. Also, if the repairs on the home exceed $15,000 and can’t be split into two phases, it will be disqualified.
Martin said the applicants must also meet the core tenants of program eligibility, meaning need, willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity and the ability to pay. These can all be found on the Habitat for Humanity’s website, or by contacting Martin.
Habitat for Humanity was founded on the concept of Partnership Housing. This concept centered on those in need of decent and affordable places to live working side by side with volunteers to build their future homes. Those homes would be built at no profit, and new homeowners’ house payments would be combined with no-interest loans and donated funds to create “The Fund for Humanity,” which would then be used to build more homes.
“Program Partners invest sweat equity hours into their projects and the projects of others in our housing programs,” said Martin. “This helps them feel pride as they build their home, but also as equally important, helps them learn the skills needed to maintain their home.”
Each year, Habitat for Humanity applies for grants, hosts special fundraising events, raises money through its ReStore and gets donations from the community. This is how the programs offered through Habitat for Humanity are funded. “We are 100 percent community funded at this point and are working on applying for some federal grants to help us increase our capacity to serve,” said Martin. “The Cheboygan Habitat ReStore serves as one source of fundraising for our housing program but also provides new and gently used items to the public at a reduced cost. From building materials to home furnishings, there is something for everyone at the ReStore.”
COVID-19 caused the ReStore and other programs available through the Habitat for Humanity to be put on hold. Some of these have since reopened, and Martin and Habitat for Humanity are looking forward to next year, hoping things are back to normal so they can help more people.
Cheboygan County Habitat for Humanity also participates in a funding program through Habitat for Humanity International called “Cars for Homes.” Community members can donate vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, farm equipment and construction equipment.
Call Habitat for Humanity at 1-877-277-4344 to schedule your donation or visit www.habitat.org/support/donate-your-car.
More information regarding Habitat for Humanity and its programs can be found at habitatcheboygan.org/
Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded Cheboygan County Habitat for Humanity with a $15,000 grant to support a home repair project in Indian River. The funding is part of an $8.1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International for capacity building and direct mission support to build, renovate and repair more than 350 affordable homes across the United States. The grant is provided through Wells Fargo Builds℠ and is part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $1 billion philanthropic commitment to create more housing affordability solutions by 2025.
“We’ve had a rich history of working with Habitat for Humanity to strengthen our neighborhoods through philanthropy and volunteerism,” said Marybeth Howe, commercial banking executive at Wells Fargo. “Safe and stable housing enables people to build upon the rest of their life and, together, we can shift the narrative to help others understand that housing affordability is both an economic and humanitarian crisis that’s taking a toll on millions of people.”
Wells Fargo Builds provides philanthropic financial assistance from the Wells Fargo Foundation to support the construction, renovation, painting or repairing of homes with low-to-moderate income households. In 2019 alone, Wells Fargo employees volunteered more than 1.9 million hours of service to strengthen their communities, including building, repairing, and improving 674 homes across the U.S. with several organizations through Wells Fargo Builds.
“COVID-19 stopped us in our tracks and pushed back 3 home repair projects throughout Cheboygan County,” said Mandy Martin, Executive Director for Cheboygan County Habitat for Humanity. “This funding from Wells Fargo is making a huge impact on our ability to serve those needing a safe place to call home.”
The grant will support the repair of a home in Indian River for a single grandmother and her granddaughter who need some handicap accessibility modifications to make their home safe once again. By partnering with Cheboygan Habitat, this household will receive a hand up, not a handout for these critical repairs needed on their home.
The Habitat Office and ReStore will be closed to celebrate the Labor Day Holiday Friday, September 4th - Monday, September 7th, 2020. We will reopen for shopping on Wednesday, September 8th, 2020 for week long savings with our Post Labor Day Sale.
Our Post Labor Day Sale will start with smaller sales on Wednesday building up to a bigger sale on Saturday, September 12th. All proceeds raised through the ReStore help us build and repair more homes, community and hope throughout Cheboygan County.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!