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Tue, Feb. 18

Williams Habitat for Humanity selection meeting Sunday
Interested families must attend meeting at Williams Senior Center at 1 p.m.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Families interested in applying for a Habitat for Humanity house should attend the Family Selection Orientation meeting Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Williams Senior Center, 850 W. Grant Ave.

Applications will only be available at this meeting.

"It is a way to let us know that these people are really interested and we're not spinning our wheels," said Bud Parenteau, treasurer of the Williams Area Habitat for Humanity.

Parenteau stressed that Habitat for Humanity does not give out free homes. Rather, the organization provides affordable homes with low-interest mortgages for low-income families.

"It's not a hand out, it's a hand up," Parenteau said.

To qualify for a Habitat house, applicants must not be able to qualify for a loan from a bank. However, applicants must earn at least 60 percent of the median income in Williams.

"We don't want to put somebody in there and have them fail, we want them to succeed," Parenteau said.

A selection committee considers the applicants' housing need, ability to pay and willingness to partner with Williams Area Habitat for Humanity. Selected families must put in 500 hours of sweat equity on the home.

The selection committee reviews the applications with the names of the applicants removed. They consider the number of family members and the family's income and bills. With this in mind, Parenteau said the committee chooses the best family, meaning "the one that's going to fit the needs of the property, the house and all that the best."

The committee hopes to select a family in March. By that time, the Williams Area Habitat for Humanity hopes to have found a property for the house.

More information about the meeting is available from Francis Mazza at (701) 361-2324.

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