Organizers from Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity are urging families in need to apply for one of three remaining homes in Essex.
Located at 57 Park St., two of the three available homes are within a triplex being built where the previous house, which was left partially burned from a 2016 fire, once sat.
Catherine Stevens, the organization’s director of advancement, said GMH has now selected one family from Burlington and received “quite a few” other applications that didn’t meet the program’s requirements.
“It would be great if some families in Essex would apply,” Stevens said.
With Habitat, families can purchase the homes with a 25- to 30-year, no-interest loan with no money down. Those payments are then used to construct more homes.
Estimated monthly costs for the two-bedroom, one-bathroom carriage house are about $1,000, which includes the mortgage payment, property taxes and an association fee. Estimated costs for one of the triplex condos, which have three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, are about $1,100 per month.
A volunteer-based family selection committee pores over applications before choosing families, which qualify if they make less than 60 percent of the median household income, currently about $50,000 for a family of four, yet have a stable income to pay for a mortgage.
They must also demonstrate a need for the home, for reasons like living in a crowded or unsafe environment. Additionally, they’re required to perform 400 hours of “sweat equity,” like helping with their own home, on other construction projects or working shifts at ReStore, a Habitat-owned resale shop.
Stevens said helping build your own home is one of the most rewarding parts of the experience. That’s why, with the projects aiming for a December deadline, Habitat is anxious to finalize the families.
“We want to make sure that people can get in there and really learn how their house is built,” she said.
For more information about the application process and requirements, visit vermonthabitat.org/apply-for-a-home.