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Effingham Magazine

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates 23rd Home in Effingham County

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates 23rd Home in Effingham County

Another family now has a safe and stable home thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County. The local affiliate of the national nonprofit organization dedicated a new home in Guyton on September 16, the 23rd home constructed in the county since the affiliate’s establishment in 1995. The home took about a year to build, with volunteers first being welcomed for construction in October 2022. 

The home was built in partnership with new homeowner April Wise, who received her keys to the home at the dedication ceremony. April had previously applied for a Habitat home but did not meet all the requirements at the time. After trying again last year, she was accepted.

“I was so excited,” April says. “I called everybody.” Sharing the good news with friends and family was just the first step in the process. She then worked alongside volunteers from the community and local churches to build her home, part of the 250 hours of sweat equity required from each homeowner.

“I enjoyed going out there to help. You’re not only doing it because it’s yours; you’re also helping the community,” April says. “It’s a great feeling to know that you can look back in 15-20 years and know that you built this house.”

The homebuilding process is a learning experience for the partner family as they learn about the fundamentals of construction from more experienced volunteers, some of whom do this professionally.

“It meant so much to me that there were so many people that came out to get this home built for me and my children,” April says. “They’ve shown me things that I never would have known. They showed me how to cut the wood, how to measure it and how to use a nail gun. I enjoyed working with every single one of them.”

April isn’t the only one who will benefit from the stability provided by Habitat for Humanity’s pathway to attainable home ownership. Her two children, ages 13 and 9, are also excited to move. “They’ve been asking every week, ‘Mama, when are we moving?’” April says.

Now that this home is complete, plans are in motion to build two more homes, one in Rincon and another in Guyton. Families who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply to be one of the next partners.

A common misconception about Habitat for Humanity is that homes are given for free, but that is not the case. Prospective homeowners must meet certain employment and income requirements, be able to make a 2 percent down payment and monthly mortgage payments, have a credit score of at least 640 and have less than $1000 in delinquent debt.

“Applying for a Habitat home can be challenging, but it’s worth the reward,” says Jimmy Rutland, President/CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County. “We want to see families succeed in their goal of home ownership, and we are happy to advise applicants throughout the process.”

𝟑𝟔𝟎𝟓 𝐇𝐰𝐲. 𝟐𝟏 𝐄. 𝐑𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧