Habitat Adds Home Repairs

By Max Resnik

August 13, 2012 Updated Aug 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM EDT

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Habitat for Humanity in Kosciusko County, known for its home building, is branching out into critical home repairs.

The new line of work for Habitat for Humanity is referred to as its Critical Home Repair Program, and recently, a Warsaw family was the recipient of the nonprofits’ first restoration. The family, who had to remain anonymous as they are applicants for other repairs, had a leaking toilet that was leading to a rotting floor. Having three children and unable to make the repairs themselves, the family turned to the Kosciusko County branch of Habitat to make those repairs out of fear that the floor might collapse.

Christon Clark, Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County Executive Director, says increased prices for new home building are playing a role in the move towards home repairs. He also says, though, that families, who can afford homes but not the repairs, should not have to fear their homes.

“There are families out there that can afford to live in their home, but it’s not the most livable environment, and anything that we can do to help them maintain and stay in their home—the community is better off.”

Clark says Habitat will tackle projects that include electric, flooring, plumbing, siding, structural and windows, to name a few. While the exact parameters for who will qualify for repairs are still being determined, Clark says applicants will be judged on their income and that typically includes families who make 30 percent to 60 percent of the local median income. The repairs are paid off, like the home builds, on no-interest loans.

Clark says homeownership is essential for families but also says being able to afford their long term costs is just as important. For that, he says Habitat focuses on efficiency when building homes and making repairs on homes.

“A home is only as good as the efficiency and the way it’s built, especially with utility costs rising in the future. The more efficient that we can make homes, the better off the family is going to be able to afford to stay in a home.”

Clark says the office is working on getting an application available on their website, www.kosciuskohabitat.com. In the meantime, interested applicants can call the office at (574) 269-4104.

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