Local Habitat group ready to build, but needs land

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2001

The right piece of land is all that stands in the way of another Habitat for Humanity house in Natchez.

Andrew Calvit, president of the local chapter, said the group has searched for more than a year for a lot on which to build a new home for the right family.

&uot;We’re ready to build,&uot; Calvit said. &uot;We’ve looked at several lots but they were deemed unsuitable, mostly because of problems with the titles.&uot;

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Habitat members meet each month, the second Thursday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church on South Commerce Street.

&uot;We’re enthusiastic and ready to move. We have good meetings. Recently the Middle States affiliate visited us to evaluate and audit our work,&uot; Calvit said. &uot;He was very pleased with how we were performing.&uot;

The same need for property exists throughout Mississippi in Habitat programs, he said. &uot;What Habitat for Humanity requires are three things – property, people and money. Right now our need is property.&uot;

Donations of land are tax deductible he said. If donations do not materialize soon, the group hopes to find land to purchase. &uot;We can’t afford market-value prices, but we do have some money to buy land. We’ve talked about buying even a couple of acres where we could build several houses, a Habitat community.&uot;

Land within the city is preferable, Calvit said &uot;In the county it’s not as easy because of utilities; it adds a little additional cost.&uot;

The Natchez chapter has built six homes. All are occupied and the families are doing well, Calvit said. &uot;We have a family nurturing committee that visits the families once a month to check on them and be sure things are going well.&uot;

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian housing ministry that works all over the world to provide decent housing to people who otherwise might not be able to afford it.

In the United States, the houses go to families who are able to repay the costs of materials and any contract labor that was needed in the construction. The repayments are interest free.

In addition to paying back costs, the family must share in the building of the house, putting in certain numbers of hours the program refers to as sweat equity.