Thinking about a new home?
Habitat for Humanity of North Central Georgia will hold its annual homeowner application meeting Sunday for anyone who lives or works in Forsyth or Dawson counties interested in obtaining a home from the organization.
Habitat uses volunteer help to construct quality, low-cost homes for families in need.
Jackie Johnson, area director for the two counties, said the annual meeting is a must for anyone interested in buying a home through the organization.
"This [meeting] is the only time we'll be giving out the application," she said. "They must be present at this meeting to apply."
Johnson said the applications will be for homes constructed in 2010. Currently, Habitat is building a new home in north Forsyth.
"We typically construct three to four homes per year," she said. "But, with the economy, next year we'll probably only do two to three homes."
Johnson said tough economic times have led to more families considering Habitat for Humanity as a means of owning a home, but families must have a stable financial situation in order to be approved.
"A lot of people are looking for a hand up after losing jobs, but it's important for them to have stable employment," she said, noting applicants must be able to make monthly payments to Habitat on their 30-year, interest-free mortgage.
In addition, applicants must be legal residents of the United Stated and have lived or worked in Forsyth or Dawson for at least one year.
They must also be willing to join with volunteers by working 300 hours of "sweat equity" on their home, and make a $1,000 down payment.
After completing the application, Johnson said families will be selected for homes within about four months.
If chosen, they will also have to complete 10 educational courses presented by Habitat. She said the courses teach everything from budgeting and money management to landscaping and general home maintenance.
"Our hope for these folks, who are used to calling a landlord if something breaks or goes wrong, is for them to have at least a basic knowledge of how to help themselves instead of calling a landlord," she said.