Colin Byrne, project coordinator for Habitat for Humanity’s northwest metro Atlanta region, was the keynote speaker at the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce’s Cobb EMC Power Breakfast Feb. 19. He spoke on the group’s campaign “Restoring The American Dream.”
Currently there is only one Habitat home in Paulding, but they are looking to raise the number, he said.
“As soon as we have the money to build more homes we will be out here,” Byrne said.
The campaign is a four-year initiative which helps those who have been affected by the recession and increase in home foreclosures, according to information from Habitat for Humanity.
“We offer a hand up, instead of a handout,” Byrne said.
Habitat homes are under a 25-year, no-interest mortgage, he said. Those wishing to partner with Habitat to receive a home must first put in 100 “living smart hours” spent working on other habitat homes before they will be considered for a home, he said.
Once the residents partner with the organization they put 300 hours of work, called “sweat equity,” into their home, Byrne said.
Many of the homeowners they help were renting a home, which does not give them a connection to the community, he said. But when they receive a home they own their pride in the community is raised, he said.
Habitat is also focusing on renovating foreclosed homes in the area, said Tamara White, Habitat director for Douglas and Paulding counties.
(Paulding Foreclosure numbers here)
“We are going to meet what is needed,” White said.
Byrne said Habitat’s new homes are sold for around $105,000 and the foreclosed homes are sold for around $75,000, he said.
To be qualified for a Habitat home a resident can only have a combined income of $20,000 to $44,000.
For sponsorship information: email RestoreAmericanDream@gmail.com.