No matter who you are or where you've come from, we all want to live in a well-built home in a safe neighborhood.
In many families, this goal would not be a reality without Habitat for Humanity, which provides families with a "hand-up" out of substandard housing and into a home of their own.
Habitat Spartanburg provides local families with a springboard to secure, stable futures. We are proud of the work we've done in Spartanburg during the past 30-plus years. All Habitat homes are built using quality construction materials, HardiPlank (cement) siding, Architectural shingles, and those built over the last several years are Energy Star Certified.
Homes are landscaped, have front porches and an open floor plan and would fit in nicely in any neighborhoods with smaller homes. The average size of a Habitat Spartanburg home is 1,100 square feet.
Habitat must meet all code and inspection requirements of other residential home builders. Currently, Habitat Spartanburg builds seven new homes annually, and we're planning to increase that number as affordable housing remains a challenge for many Spartanburg families -- particularly low-income families.
Local data shows that about 13,000 Spartanburg citizens live in unsafe housing and spend more than half of their family budgets on housing and childcare. About 75 percent of single-family homes were built before 1980, signaling a need for new housing stock in the city. Affordable home ownership is a powerful economic stimulus tool -- it provides benefits to homeowners, revitalizes neighborhoods and the economy.
Further, studies show that homeowners are able to save as the investment in their homes grow, they enjoy better living conditions, are more involved in their communities and have children who, on average, tend to do better in school and are less likely to become involved in crime.
Since our inception in 1987, 34 families have completely paid off their mortgages and own their homes free and clear -- a true indicator of long-term financial stability.
"A safe, decent, affordable home is like a vaccine," said Dr. Megan Sandel of the Boston University School of Medicine told Congress during a 2007 hearing. "It literally prevents disease. A safe home can prevent mental health and developmental problems, a decent home may prevent asthma or lead poisoning, and a safe home can prevent stunted growth and unnecessary hospitalizations."