Habitat Makes Home Dream A Reality - Transylvania County
Last updated 5/3/2021 at 2:44pm
On Thursday, Bonnie Miller became the 69th Habitat homeowner in Transylvania County. Buying a home of her own for the first time in her life meant so much to Miller.
Miller had been renting the same home for 28 years when she was told it was to be sold. Not having the need to look for a rental home in decades, Miller was shocked by how rental prices had soared. With her only income being disability and social security, she did not qualify for a traditional mortgage and could not find an apartment she could afford.
She then turned to Transylvania Habitat.
"I had applied for a Habitat home many years ago but didn't qualify at the time," she said. "I decided to try once more because I had run out of options. I'm so happy I did because this time I was accepted into the Habitat program."
Habitat strives to strengthen the community by helping establish stability and teaching self-reliance to their homeowners to help them lead better lives. Prospective Habitat homeowners must currently live or work in Transylvania County, be living in inadequate housing and unable to obtain a traditional mortgage. They must partner with Habitat throughout the process, performing sweat equity helping to build their own home or by working in the ReStore.
"Home provides a strong sense of security and comfort - this is especially true for older adults," said Angie Hunter, executive director of Transylvania Habitat for Humanity. "We designed Bonnie's home, so that she can comfortably remain in her home as she ages. We installed wider doors to accommodate a wheelchair. The home was built on a slab, so it sits closer to the ground to eliminate stairs, and we added blocking inside the bathroom walls, so grab bars can be easily installed when needed. Living in an energy efficient home will mean Bonnie can afford to maintain her home in comfortable temperatures."
Homeowners must also meet certain citizenship and income requirements, have a steady source of income, demonstrate financial responsibility and be able to pay an interest-free mortgage, which is defined as no more than 30 percent of their income.
"I've learned so many interesting things through the Habitat educational classes that will help me be a good homeowner. And I enjoyed the sweat equity hours I completed at the ReStore," Miller said.
When asked what she's looking forward to most about being a homeowner, Bonnie said, "having a place of my own to age in place and not worry."