Tighter home loans cause Habitat request increase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tighter home loans cause Habitat request increase

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

October 10, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Flint River Habitat for Humanity officials say demand for Habitat homes in Albany has more than doubled since the housing crisis began, and they predict that demand will continue to skyrocket. 

 Velma McClary never applied for a home loan until Flint River Habitat for Humanity.

"No I never did," McClary said. "Because I never thought I could get one."

But this week McClary moves into her new three bedroom house that Habitat for Humanity partnered with her to build.

"We are the bank," said Executive Director Stacey Odom Driggers.

With families losing homes through foreclosures, and banks less willing to make home loans,  more people turned to Habitat last month for help.

"We had standing room only, more than 200 people there, inquiring to apply for a Habitat home," Driggers said.

More than double the number of applicants from the month before. 

"We're here to help people who can't get a traditional loan, and otherwise could not be homeowners.  We're here to give people a chance," Driggers said.

McClary did a great deal of the building herself, along with volunteers.  Habitat helped her move into her first home, with a monthly payment of only 350 dollars a month, including taxes and insurance.

"I love this counter top, and I love that the dining room is separated from the kitchen," McClary said.  "I love to cook... good cook,"  she say with a laugh.

Flint River Habitat starts two new homes, but expects the housing crisis to make the demand for their help continue to skyrocket.

"Our next workshop is in January, and it will be interesting to see if it's the same," Driggers said.

They know the need for their help to build affordable housing is growing. 

 Flint River Habitat Officials say they usually complete about six houses a year, but know the demand will be much greater in coming months.

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