We were pleased to have Kari Murphy speak at our October meeting. Ms Murphy serves as Loudoun Habitat for Humanity’s Development Manager, working with individuals, local companies and the faith community to help fulfill the mission of Habitat through financial contribution or in-kind gift support.
Habitat for Humanity Loudoun affiliate was born out of Leadership Loudoun, and has been around for 22 years. All homes happen in Loudoun County and everything stays in the community. Habitat’s mission is to eliminate poverty housing and make housing affordable for those deserving and in need. They have a staff of six, churning out more houses than others with bigger staffs in other communities.
The past few years; two fiscal years ago, delivered 8 houses, six last year, hoping for ten this year. They also are looking at neighborhood revitalization since it is so difficult to find affordable space in Loudoun. The group has done lots of refurbishment. Currently they are buying a house tomorrow in Sterling, working on a more significant renovation in Leesburg, and building a new home in Round Hill.
What qualifies a family to get into the program? You must live and or work in Loudoun for a year, be a legal resident, have a demonstrated need – usually an overcrowding situation. Must have reasonable financial credit – they don’t just give away homes, they empower homeowners. No interest, very low payment mortgage, financial parameters. Families must partner agreement, “sweat equity” – must give back to the organization and are not required to stay in their house X number of years. Habitat holds first rights to ‘buy-back’, which they will get the home back and flip it to another family. Their fiscal year is July through June. Other programs – home repair, weatherization project and “brush with kindness” – also have a youth program.
Habitat for Humanity also runs the Restore in Leesburg and are always looking for volunteers.