ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Well it’s not a sight you see every day – a house being built in West Capitol Park in Albany. Habitat for Humanity highlighted the opportunities home ownership brings for families.
Advocates are asking that $200 million from the state’s budget be available to create and preserve homes. The house frame will be transported to Glens Falls where a family will work with volunteers to complete the build.
Adam Feldman, Executive Director for Habitat in Northern Saratoga, says their goal is simple – build community.
“The traditional model is the family puts in sweat equity rather than cash equity and gets to know the volunteers of the community so they’re part of the community from day one literally as their house is getting built.” Feldman says that some obstacles buyers run into are costly down payments and low credit scores. Oftentimes, people simply give up on their quest.
Mary Robinson, CEO for New York’s Habitat says their organization ensures home owners pay no more than 30% of their income on their monthly payments.
“One in five households pays more than 50% of their income towards their housing costs and about half of all renters are cost burdened so no one should be paying more than 30% of their income on a house,” she said.
Both Feldman and Robinson say there’s a common misconception that Habitat families do not need to work for their homes.
“It’s a lot of work to be a Habitat for Humanity Homeowner. You got to put in the time. 100 hours to help build the house, you got to work on your credit and you got to qualify for a mortgage,” said Feldman. Habitat builds 100 homes a year, but if they get this funding they’ll be able to build 200.