Building the Community

The third Habitat for Humanity project by Lauderdale County's Women's Build Volunteers will be specially designed to be energy efficient.

Mississippi State's School of Architecture and the Stennis Institute of Government will use a grant from the department of Housing and Urban Development to create the design, by a female architect.

"It's a good opportunity for our students to use the skills that they learn in the studio," said Joe Hagerman of MSU's School of Architecture. "Kind of, come out into the community. Kind of, help communities build housing."

"We have about 35 counties where the poverty rate is in excess of 40 percent," said Judy Phillips of the Stennis Institute of Government. "So if you think about $75,000 to $100,000, that is not affordable housing for poor people in the state of Mississippi."

The prototype house slated to get underway in mid-September will have all the amenities, but cost around $50,000.

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Habitat for Humanity

  • Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization.

  • Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 100,000 houses in more than 60 countries, including some 30,000 houses across the United States.

  • Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner families.

  • Habitat houses are purchased by the homeowner families.

  • Three factors make Habitat houses affordable to low-income people worldwide:
    • Houses are sold at no profit, with no interest charged on the mortgage.
    • Homeowners and volunteers build the houses under trained supervision.
    • Individuals, corporations, faith groups, and others provide financial support.

  • Homeowner families are chosen:
    • according to their need
    • their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage
    • their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat.

  • Habitat for Humanity does not discriminate according to race, religion or ethnic group.

  • Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, "sweat equity", into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

  • A Habitat house could cost varies throughout the world, from as little as $800 in some developing countries to an average of $46,600 in the United States.

Source: http://www.habitat.org/ (The Habitat for Humanity International Web site)


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