Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Need: Habitat for Humanity Will Build a House Here

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Need: Habitat for Humanity Will Build a House Here

Article excerpt

Habitat for Humanity, the international organization that builds houses for poor people, will make its debut in St. Charles County this fall.

The five Rotary clubs in the county are organizing an effort to build such a house at Wilmes and Cunningham streets in the city of St. Charles.

Ken Weber, co-chairman of the local effort, said he wasn't sure how much demand there would be for the house. But Miriam Mahan, director of the Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, assured, "There's a tremendous demand." She said she has 10 families who could qualify for the house.

Weber, a retired engineer who has been involved in other fund-raising projects in the area, said families may send for an application to be considered for the house. Letters should be mailed to Habitat for Humanity; Box 1122; St. Charles, Mo. 63302. A self-addressed, stamped envelope must be included. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 14.

Weber said only the working poor will be considered. A family must have an income of $12,500 to $25,000 a year. The family must have resided in the county for at least a year and must now be in substandard housing.

The family that is chosen must spend at least 350 hours working on the construction of the house. That requirement "builds pride of ownership," said Weber.

Habitat for Humanity houses are not given away, but sold to families. They get a good deal because most of the materials and time that go into the houses are donated.

"It's not a handout. It's sort of a helping hand," said Weber.

The other co-chairman, Ron Hollis, added, "It's people helping people, not government helping people. I guess it's the way things should have been all along."

The St. Charles County family that is chosen will pay about $45,000 for the house, which will have an appraised value of about $60,000. The family will get a no-interest loan from the organization. The payments will be $250 a month, which will include insurance and taxes and $15 to be set aside for a "major repair" fund. …

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