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Families in Oktibbeha County needing a home may have the opportunity to receive it through Habitat for Humanity.

Starkville Habitat for Humanity is taking applications for future homeowners through March 30. Prospective Habitat homeowners must be residents of Oktibbeha County, have a demonstrated need for better housing, be willing to partner for a new home, meet income requirements and be able to manage mortgage payments. For example a family of four could not have an income above $43,900, and must have an income of at least $1,500 per month.

“Interested applicants come and request an application, and typically we’ll mail it to them,” said Starkville Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Joel Downey. “They do have to be low-income, as defined by (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), and that’s based on their family size. A family of four can actually make about $30,000 and still qualify.”

Downey explained some of the factors that could serve as a need for housing.

“It could be that their housing is substandard, or they have overcrowding, or that it’s unaffordable,” Downey said. “We review all the applications to see who meets the basic qualifications, then we sort of go through a winnowing process.”

He said the organization usually had between 15 and 20 applicants for each of the two houses it builds annually.

“We have to look a them pretty hard to get the person who it would make the most sense to give the house to,” Downey said.

Downey said applicants would have to be able to repay a mortgage note on the house.

“It sort of depends on the size of the house and how their insurance is, but it runs between $499 and maybe $550 or $560,” Downey said. “If they don’t have good credit, then their insurance cost is going to go up.”

For more information, Starkville Habitat for Humanity can be reached at (662)-324-7008 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, or by email at hhumanity@bellsouth.net

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