Habitat Lenawee earns award 2011.07.27

Written by David Green.

Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County earned statewide recognition for its building and operational standards which have exceeded the Habitat for Humanity International standards by meeting the more stringent standards established by Michigan Habitat for Humanity.

Each year, Habitat for Humanity affiliates operating in Michigan are required to complete an annual “Readiness File” if they wish to qualify for the resources and grants available through the state organization, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. Habitat of Michigan affiliates must not only meet the requirements of Habitat International to continue their affiliation, but also the more in-depth requirements specified by the state organization that confirm the affiliate is actively planning for the future, adopting sound non-profit procedures, and safeguarding the community’s resources and Habitat’s solid reputation.

Michigan affiliates use a unique model for building or renovating houses and then selling the houses to qualified low-income families at an affordable no-interest schedule the family can meet. These payments are utilized by the local Habitat affiliate to build more houses for low income families. The community benefits by stabilized neighborhoods and through the increased property tax revenues paid by the new homeowners.

Sandy Pearson, CEO of Michigan Habitat for Humanity, said Michigan’s additional requirements of the affiliate include the establishment of a strategic plan, an annual fund development plan, and a board of director’s declaration that commits to meeting the new laws required of organizations that issue mortgages.

In addition, for the more than 40 affiliates operating a Habitat ReStore as a fund raising activity, each store must meet the state level standards of operational excellence, including licensing, finances, and solid retail management practices.  

Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County’s mission statement is, “Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses, so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all God intends.”

MORENCI—Habitat home owner Nancy Alamia became the first in the county last year to pay off a mortgage. She is now buying an adjacent parcel of land from the city to build a garage.

“We are just bursting with pride in all that Nancy Alamia is accomplishing,” said  Bob Dister, county Habitat director.

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