The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that 1.4 million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of a support network and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.
In 2014 Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State (HFHTS) introduced a new program that focuses on helping single or coupled veterans become homeowners.
It’s a collaborative program with the Homeless Veterans Resource Center, and will provide veterans the opportunity to own their own homes. Veterans are selected and approved through the Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center. Veterans who participate must complete a minimum of 100 “sweat equity” hours for singles and 200 hours for couples – of which 20 will earned by taking homeowner education classes – and be responsible for paying back a, no-interest mortgage to the affiliate.
Why is this Program so Important?
Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State is tackling the housing problem within our community by creating a program to address the plight of local veterans. Formerly homeless veterans who are currently renting an apartment or house and have expressed an interest in homeownership are eligible. The benefits of this program go beyond providing a new home for a veteran in need; once that veteran moves into their completed home, the housing voucher he or she was using can be utilized by another homeless veteran in our community to secure housing.
When a veteran purchases a VHI home, they are buying a brand new, energy efficient, appliance-filled, one-bedroom home that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The amazing part of this homeownership program is that the average monthly paymert for a VHI home is $350 compared to over $600 a month to rent an apartment. The payment also includes mortgage, taxes, insurance, refuse and municipal service fees.
A one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in the Tri-State area:
$652 per month
Veterans Housing Initiative Home:
$350+/- per month: including mortgage, taxes, insurance, refuse & municipal service fees. HFHTS provides a no-interest, mortgage for 25 years.