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Habitat for Humanity helps veterans with home ownership

Pierce County vets may receive zero percent interest mortgage

Listen up veterans: Habitat for Humanity can help repair your home. Courtesy photo

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Due to its proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity has a long relationship with many of the Soldiers and Airmen who have volunteered countless hours working at construction sites.

"We're a military town and veterans are such a large part of our community already, not to mention they are going to be even more getting out of the military in the coming years, so we want to help as many as we can," explained Maureen Fife, executive director at the TPC Habitat for Humanity.

So, true to its word, the local Habitat for Humanity office is actively seeking Pierce County veterans to participate in their affordable home ownership program, which promises a zero percent interest mortgage that would be less than 30 percent of their monthly income. On average, a TPC Habitat for Humanity house carries a mortgage of between $500 and $800 per month.

The homes can be built to each family's specifications with regard to any ADA requirements, from wheelchair ramps or reinforced beams to tiled shower rooms - making it ideal for wounded warriors or veterans with disabilities.

In order to qualify, veterans do not need to be have served 20 years and retired, nor do they have to be combat veterans; however, they must have a DD-214 that shows they were discharged honorably.

Families who are presently paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent, living in overcrowded conditions, temporary conditions or unsafe or unhealthy housing are eligible to apply. Furthermore, they must also have no pending bankruptcies or foreclosure in the last 18 months; all collections need to be paid off before construction can commence; perfect credit is not required, but applicants should have no late payments within the last year. Certain household income thresholds must also be met.

TPC Habitat for Humanity is currently continuing to build its Tacoma development and will soon start on one in Tillicum, located across from American Lake. Typically they complete 20 homes a year, but they are slated to build 22 in 2014 in an effort to accommodate additional families. Beautiful, energy-efficient and new construction homes aside, these local Habitat for Humanity communities also boast a family atmosphere, to include sports fields, playgrounds and a community house and garden.

"In years past we've had a long waiting list and this is a unique opportunity for people to submit applications without any delay," Fife concluded. "We'd love to include as many veterans in our communities as possible and I urge them to call us as soon as possible to start the process."

In addition to home ownership, TPC Habitat for Humanity also offers a home repair program to assist veterans who might be in need of critical repairs and assistance at their existing property. To see if you qualify for those services, simply visit www.tpc-habitat.org and complete the form.

TPC Habitat for Humanity also hosts regular Homeowner Application Meetings every month, at their office at 4824 S. Tacoma Way, and at Pacific Lutheran University.

For more information, veterans and their families should call TPC Habitat for Humanity at (253) 627-5626. 

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