Habitat houses far from free for families

Published 12:07am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lots of people think about doing good things in their community. A fair amount of those people have really good intentions of doing good things for the community.

Few — very few — actually roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty by physically doing something constructive.

The word “constructive” certainly describes one of the area’s best “get-things-done” non-profits — the Natchez-Adams County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Sunday marked the dedication celebration of the 17th Habitat house built in the area.

Those houses are built with volunteers, donations and lots of love. Many people misunderstand the role of Habitat for Humanity. Critics who only half-understand how the program works think the new homeowners are just “given” the new house.

That’s not the plan or the reality.

Homeowners must work — long, hard hours — alongside volunteers so they have “sweat equity” in the house. It’s their house; they worked on it.

Beyond the initial construction, homeowners also pay for any construction costs on the house over time through no-interest, no-profit mortgages.

The houses are far from being undeserved gifts, but rather a significant leg-up for folks who need it.

Every family needs a good roof over its head, and we’re happy the volunteers with Habitat are helping to make that a reality, one family at a time.