Habitat providing hope by the foot

Published 11:14 pm Monday, September 7, 2015

Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity is continuing the Square Foot Campaign as members work toward the $60,000 goal for their 14th building project in the county.

A new sign appeared in The Square in Downtown Troy about one week ago letting the community know how the effort is progressing.

This sign on the Square in Downtown Troy tracks the progress of Habitat for Humanity's Square Foot fundraising campaign.

This sign on the Square in Downtown Troy tracks the progress of Habitat for Humanity’s Square Foot fundraising campaign.

“We are at the point where we need to get funds together to purchase supplies, lumber, etc.” said Karen Ross, board member with Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity. “The thermometer is currently at $20,000, but we are going to raise it next week. We are going to be able to update it to $34,000.”

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Ross said other factors may make that number grow and could push it to $40,000 by this week.

“Once we reach $40,000, we can start the building process,” Ross said. “We will start the building, get it framed and roofed by winter. Then we will raise the last part of the funding to complete the interior.”

Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity has been campaigning for this project for about one year. Ross said in a small community such as Pike County, it typically takes a year to collect the funds.

“We have been able to build a house every two years,” Ross said. “It takes about a year and a half to collect the funds.”

The property, located on West Fairview Street, has already been purchased and is ready for the process to begin.

Habitat for Humanity builds homes at about half the cost of a regular home, Ross said. The homes cost about $50 per square foot.

“The lost cost is due to volunteer labor and donations of money and material,” Ross explained.

The family for this home has already been selected; however, Ross said the organization typically has open enrollment periods during which applications are accepted.

“Contrary to what people think, it is not free housing,” Ross said. “It is a loan. They have a mortgage that they pay monthly.”

Families or individuals applying for a Habitat home must meet three criteria: need, willingness to partner and ability to pay.

“Instead of a down payment, the family has equity,” Ross said. “They contribute a number of hours of building the next home.”

Not only does it provide a good, safe home for a family or individual, but it gives them the ability to become a homeowner.

“It helps people who are ready for home ownership but who can’t meet the requirement that a bank would normally have,” Ross said. “They become homeowners and pay the home over 10 to 20 years.”

Those wanting to volunteer to help build the home can send an email to troypikehabitat@gmail.com.

“We would love to have people volunteer,” Ross said. “One of the main things is the volunteer labor. We should be able to get started this fall. If anyone is interested in helping build, visit our website and contact us.”

Volunteers are not required to have any building skills, but those who do have building skills or experience are valued.

“There is no skill level required,” Ross said. “We will teach you what you need to know. If you have experience, it is a great help, as well.”

The Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity website can be found at www.troypikehabitat.com. Donations can be made on the website, as well.

“We are still looking for funds,” Ross said. “If anyone would like to help with the fundraising or if they have an event that we could attend and work with them, we would be interested in that.”

Ross said individuals can purchase square feet and present them as gifts, saying they were donated in someone’s name.

“If people would consider using this as gifts, we have special cards and things like that,” Ross said.

“This is something that people in this county are very good about,” Ross said. This is something that I know people in this county are very accustomed to.”