Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County seeks applicants for new Development
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plainfield & Middlesex County is currently seeking applicants for a new five-home development on West Seventh Street in Plainfield. Anyone interested in possible ownership of a 3-bedroom, 1 ½ bath home is advised to attend an orientation session. The next orientation date is Sunday, November 13, 2011 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Plainfield YMCA, 518 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060- across from City Hall. In order to submit an application, attendance is highly suggested.
Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex will embark on its first multi-unit project with the purchase of a vacant piece of land on West Seventh Street in Plainfield. A single-family home and two duplexes will be constructed, housing five families. Currently an overgrown, vacant, and under-utilized property in a residential neighborhood, this eight-tenths of an acre property will be converted into a lovely condominium community.
Each home will be sold at the cost of construction between a range of $110-150,000 with a 0% mortgage. Each three-bedroom home requires at least 3 occupants and no more than 6 occupants; the four-bedroom home requires at least 4 occupants and no more than 8. The minimum total household income to qualify is $40,000.
“Why pay rent costing $1,200 a month?” asks Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, Executive Director for Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex. “By requiring no cash down payment, we help working families acquire the dream of ownership with the support of our community.”
Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex builds simple, decent and affordable housing, and provides homeownership opportunities for and with low income families in need. To be considered, applicants must have lived in the Greater Plainfield area for at one year, as defined by the municipalities of North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Dunellen, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Piscataway, and the City of Plainfield. Each year, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex receives numerous applications for its program, and their volunteer Family Selection Team evaluates partner families based on three main criteria: need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.
All else being equal, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex selects the families in the greatest need for decent, affordable housing. Through extensive interviews and home visits, the Family Selection Team recommends a short list of families for approval by the Board of Trustees. Habitat partner families then must be able to demonstrate that they can pay the 20-year mortgage they will have on their homes. Partner families must also be willing to invest “sweat equity” into the construction of their home and other Habitat homes. In addition, families must attend a series of courses in homeownership and financial management.
To best understand Habitat’s program of offering homeownership to qualified families, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex offers working families a hand up, not a hand out. Every partner family contributes 200 hours of “sweat equity” per adult in 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.
Since 1989, 33 homes have been built by Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex, all built 100% by volunteers using tax deductible donations of money and materials. This past summer, Habitat of Plainfield/Middlesex has broken ground on its 34th home in Plainfield on East Sixth Street.
Applications are available on their website, www.habitatgpmc.org or by calling the office at 888-557-6032.