Leaving poverty housing is nearly impossible for many families in Bryan and College Station. Imagine planning for anything beyond survival if you don’t know how long you can stay in a home with a leaky roof and walls, temperamental stove and repairs that are never fixed and add to your monthly expenses. These families need a good, sturdy home they can afford. That’s what we do at Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity. Our community partnership and no-interest, affordable mortgages are the most well-known way we help low-income families create a brighter future with more possibilities. But that’s not all we do at Habitat – we’d like to share four more ways we help low-income homebuyers (Habitat families) plan a more prosperous future for themselves and our community.
BCS Habitat helps homebuyer applicants deal with debt.
For applicants who are denied due to poor credit or too much debt, we work with them to improve their credit. The goal of owning a home, which before seemed impossible, motivates people to face their debt and take control of it. We teach applicants how to understand their credit report and dispute errors they find on their credit report. One applicant found a charge for a theme park in Florida on her credit report, but she’d never even been to Florida! If she hadn’t applied to our program, she may have never known or dealt with this error.
We don’t give homeownership, we teach homeownership.
We require our homebuyers to take personal finance, budget and home maintenance classes before purchasing their home. These Habitat workshop classes help homebuyers to prioritize spending, manage their finances and reduce the cost of homeownership by doing simple home repairs themselves. Some of the simple maintenance we teach includes doing annual maintenance on water heaters, sealing windows during the winter months and even growing your own food through a backyard garden.