Habitat for Humanity- Grand Rapids
Almost everyone has heard of Habitat for Humanity, but not a lot of people understand exactly what they do. Many are under the false impression that they give away homes to people who cannot afford them. They do not give away these homes, and the people who buy habitat homes need to have good credit and be able to afford their house payment. However, they do provide mortgages with zero percent interest, which makes the mortgage much more affordable.
Not only do they build new homes, but they also remodel existing ones. Their efforts in Grand Rapids are mostly centered around the southeast side. They find homes that are very run down. They gut the house, usually to the studs, and rebuild it. All of their homes are now LEED certified, which means they are incredibly energy efficient.
There are many requirements a person must meet to purchase a Habitat house. 1) The buyer must take finance and home ownership classes. This helps prepare people for long term success. 2) They must meet income guidelines and maintain good credit. The average Habitat home owner makes only about 50% of the median income of the area. 3) Home owners must log 300-500 volunteer hours for Habitat for Humanity.
The ReStore- This is a retail home improvement store run by Habitat for Humanity. There are many kinds of building supplies here that can be purchased at 50-70% off regular retail prices. Some supplies are brand new and donated from various companies around West Michigan. They also take donations from anyone of gently used building materials. If you are remodeling, think green, and donate usable items to the ReStore. There are two locations in Grand Rapids, one on Alpine and one near 60th and Division.
Habitat for Humanity is nonprofit and survives from donations and many volunteers. Volunteering can take many forms. You can volunteer to work on a build site, or you can work at their retail stores. If you cannot donate your time, they also accept monetary donations. For more information on our local Habitat branch, check out their website www.habitatkent.org/