Habitat for Humanity seeks applicants for new home for Disabled Veteran
[PLAINFIELD, NJ] Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County is currently seeking applicants for a new home on East Fifth Street in Plainfield, New Jersey. Another local nonprofit, New Jersey Connect, will partner with Habitat to build a new home for a disabled veteran and family for an initiative called “Habitat for Heroes.”
Honorably discharged U.S. Armed Forces combat veterans with a service connected physical disability requiring a barrier-free home are especially encouraged to apply. Anyone interested in possible ownership of a single-family and accessible home is advised to attend a mandatory orientation session.
“This is an amazing opportunity to own a home which will be built with love and devotion,” comments Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County. “Many in our community cannot wait to work together alongside a disabled veteran and his or her family to provide an accessible and barrier-free home.
As is required of all new Habitat homebuyers, veterans selected to partner with “Habitat for Heroes” will repay zero-interest loans covering the costs of new home. Loan amounts will be determined on a sliding scale based on the veteran’s income to ensure affordability for the veteran’s family. The funds originally used to build the house are returned to Habitat through the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments over a 20‐30 year period, and then are used to build more Habitat houses locally. The program works to help veterans get back on their feet and live their lives with dignity, respect, and a feeling of community.
By requiring no cash down payment, Habitat for Humanity helps working families acquire the dream of ownership with the support of volunteer labor and the community. This home will be built at 502 East Fifth Street in Plainfield, immediately next door to another house built in 2011 by Habitat. Construction is a cooperative effort, involving both volunteers and future homeowners.
Application forms are only available at the mandatory home application orientation meetings. The location of these meetings is at the Veteran’s Center, 400 East Front St, Unit 102, Plainfield NJ 07060 on these dates and times:
· Tuesday, October 27 : 7:00pm - 8:30pm
· Thursday, October 29 : 7:00pm – 8:30pm
· Saturday, October 31 : 10:00am - 11:30am
In order to receive an application, attendance is required at the mandatory orientations. The deadline to submit complete application is Monday, November 30, 2015 at noon. The application process will include income verification, a credit check, and personal visits and interviews by team members. Qualified applicants will be assigned a lottery number, and the prospective homeowners will be selected via lottery by January 2016.
To best understand Habitat for Humanity’s program of offering homeownership to qualified families, Habitat offers working families a hand up, not a hand out. Every partner family contributes 200 hours of “sweat equity” per adult in building their home or other homes, financed with zero interest loans provided by Habitat. By using volunteer labor and donations of money and material from the community, they sell the houses at the cost of construction with no profit.
Interested families should fill out a “Housing Interest Form” at www.habitatgpmc.org/homeownership to receive important notices on this opportunity or future Habitat projects.
ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF GREATER PLAINFIELD & MIDDLESEX COUNTY
Since 1989, 41 homes locally have been built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County, all built 100% by volunteers using tax deductible donations of money and materials from the community. Celebrating its 25th year, this local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International is committed to improving the lives of low-moderate income families by helping them build and buy their own simple, decent homes. Habitat offers families a hand up, not a hand out. Every partner family devotes at least 200 hours per adult of sweat equity to help build their home or a neighbor’s home and secures a 0% mortgage provided by Habitat.
[MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ] – Community support of Habitat for Humanity comes in a variety of forms, including professionals donating time to perform legal services. McCarter and English attorney, Veronica Montagna, was paired with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County by Pro Bono Partnership to provide legal counsel on matters such as Greater Plainfield’s recent merger with Middlesex County Habitat. In total, Montagna donated 66 hours of her time, a value of $24,000, to prepare the merger agreements and to manage the legal filings. The complex and detailed legal process of merging affiliates would not have been possible without the generous contribution from McCarter & English and the diligence of Montagna.
For the Habitat affiliates, this merger brings together neighboring communities and consolidates resources to create more impact in Central Jersey. The merger, which was finalized on May 23, 2015, included a new name, logo, and a much larger service area for the joint affiliate — meaning families who live in Middlesex County who apply for new Habitat homes will now be served with opportunities generated by the efforts of Greater Plainfield Habitat and vice versa.
“When people think of volunteering with Habitat, construction is assumed to be the only opportunity,” describes Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County. “Partnerships with professional firms like McCarter and English enable us to have more impact in the community. Donations of professional services allow us to focus on building more homes and in turn to serve more families.”
What brought this partnership together is the ongoing work of Pro Bono Partnership, which provides business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged or enhancing the quality of life in neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Partnership annually recruits and mobilizes hundreds of attorneys from major corporations and law firms to donate their time and expertise on behalf of its nonprofit clients, enhancing their ability to improve conditions in their communities.
“Habitat’s needs and our firm’s skill set meshed so seamlessly that it was a great fit, ultimately to the benefit of needy families in Central Jersey,” stated Veronica Montagna.
Since the merger, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County has begun its first project in Highland Park, set to serve a family that was displaced from their home in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy. The new Habitat home, located at 236 South 10th Avenue in Highland Park, is well under way, offering opportunities for the community to volunteer. For more information, visit www.habitatgpmc.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is committed to improving the lives of low-income families by helping them build and buy their own simple, decent homes. Habitat offers families a hand up, not a hand out. Every partner family devotes at least 200 hours per adult of sweat equity to help build their home or a neighbor’s home and secures a 0% mortgage provided by Habitat. Habitat supports partner families with training in budgeting, home and landscape maintenance and how to be a good neighbor. To date, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex has built forty homes locally and funded sixty-five homes globally through Habitat’s global tithe program. Construction is almost complete on its largest project to-date, a five-home development on West Seventh Street in Plainfield called “Habitat Village” and its first project in Highland Park is underway. To volunteer, donate, or own a Habitat home, visit www.habitatgpmc.org .
McCarter & English, LLP, a firm of over 400 lawyers operates with offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York, Newark, East Brunswick, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Washington, DC. www.mccarter.com
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County celebrated the completion of its 37th home in Plainfield at a private Housewarming Reception on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 on West Third Street.
The joyous gathering was attended by the new homebuyer, Vearon Poyser-Smith, and by those closest to the project including organizational staff, weekly construction volunteers, and Board members. As Habitat for Humanity is a Christian non-sectarian organization, this gathering incorporated a prayer of blessing and time of thanks.
Executive Director, Rev. Jeremy Montgomery presented the family with the keys to their new home, a Bible, and tool box to celebrate a new beginning. Special acknowledgements were given to the weekly construction volunteers, referred to as the “Core Crew”, who worked hard to make this home a reality.
To purchase this house, the family performed 200 hours of “sweat equity” building their home and the homes of others as a requirement for becoming Habitat homeowners. The homebuyer will purchase the home with Habitat’s zero‐percent mortgage and no cash down‐payment opportunity. Monthly mortgage payments will be used to build more Habitat houses in Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County.
Nearly 200 different volunteers have been involved with the construction of this home, representing schools, churches, and community groups from all over Union County and Greater Plainfield.
This home was built as a part of the 2014 Builders Blitz initiative in which Habitat for Humanity engaged local professional builders to complete a house in just one week. Builders Blitz is a national program of Habitat for Humanity International which offers professional builders the opportunity to use their skills and talents to address the growing need for low-income housing in communities nationwide.
“Often times we are focused on the ‘Habitat’ aspect of our work, but it’s moments like these, gathered together, where we are reminded of just how central is the ‘Humanity’ of our mission,” commented Executive Director, Jeremy Montgomery, before presenting the keys to the family.