Habitat for Humanity to Help Employees Purchase Homes

Habitat for Humanity workers carry rafters | Image by Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity will extend financial housing assistance to its employees looking to purchase a home.

The nonprofit Habitat for Humanity is well-known in the U.S. for providing homes for lower-income families. Now, the organization is extending that service to its team members through its “Welcome Home” program.

The Welcome Home program provides financial education in addition to down-payment and closing-cost assistance of up to $13,000 in the form of a loan forgivable over a 5-year term, CBS News reported.

The program’s rollout was welcome news to Rebecca Thompson, a Dallas area Habitat for Humanity employee and one of the first to enroll in the program.

Being given an opportunity to become a homeowner is an exciting prospect for Thompson, who views the down payment as a significant homebuying hurdle.

“The down payment is the big one,” said Thompson. “Just being able to get that much money all at one time — it’s difficult.”

As Thompson works through the organization’s home program, she daydreams of plans for her future garden and where she will hang her collection of artworks.

Buying a first home is a significant financial decision, and Thompson knows she is not the only one dealing with rising costs. Thompson says she is currently going through an education process of learning about mortgages, down payments, and what she can afford given her current finances.

“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months is a rise in median income to the tune of about 3% versus an increase of home appreciation to about 19%,” said Blaine Cowart, VP of Home Owner Services.

While housing prices have felt a sharp increase in appreciation, according to Habitat for Humanity, the market for renting is not much better. The average price of a local two-bedroom apartment in Dallas has gone up more than 30%, while a three-bedroom apartment has risen more than 60%, according to Rent.com.

Cowart said the organization’s Welcome Home program has received a lot of interest from employees.

Click here for more information on local Habitat for Humanity programs and services.

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