Bry Anderson and Jerry Stotler, board members, check out the new home.
The Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country announces their house is complete with a new family in Castle Dale. The house has been in the works for several years and its completion is the work of several volunteers in the two county area and beyond. An open house was held to honor the new family and to recognize those who worked on the project.
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization that builds affordable, no-profit homes to help families escape from unsafe, unhealthy living conditions. Rhonda Birch is the local chapter president; Charles Williams-vice president; Carolyn Randall-treasurer; Betty Moore-secretary; and board members include: Bry Anderson, Jane Berneche, Gordon Craft, Irene Everett, Jack Forinash, Wes Funes, Marylyn Mower, Joni Pace, Jerry Stotler and Maria Sykes.
The Castle Dale Habitat House was built through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials. Habitat is not a giveaway program, but the owners pay a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their home and other habitat homes.
Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no-profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat homes.
In some developing countries for $800 United States dollars a Habitat House can be built. In the United States some houses can cost up to $60,000 and have a mortgage anywhere from seven-30 years, based on the amount of the mortgage and the partner family's income.
Habitat families must meet specific criteria to be selected for a Habitat House. The organization looks for people who are currently living in sub-standard housing with no way to buy a home on their own, and who are willing to help build their own home as much as they are able. Families must be willing to perform 250 hours per adult in the household of sweat equity towards their house. Prior to being considered for a Habitat house, the family is required to invest 20 hours of volunteer time. This 20 hours is credited toward the overall sweat equity requirement.
The Charley and Stephanie Swasey family has been selected for the Castle Dale Habitat Home. The Swasey family along with their four children, Dakota, Kirsten, Kendra and Jody are in the process of moving into their new home. Stephanie said, "We are really excited. We are still working on moving in and unpacking boxes. We used to live with my mom and dad in Huntington. It's really nice to have our own place to call home. Being a Habitat family has helped us afford our own place. We couldn't have done it without the help of Habitat. We put 500 volunteer hours into our Habitat House and we will be available to help with other Habitat Houses for the life of our mortgage. They will call us whenever they need help with a project.
"We've really moved into a great neighborhood, our kids are going to Castle Dale Elementary and they have friends here in Castle Dale. I have friends close by too, so it's been really nice. It's just exciting to be in our own place and we are decorating for Christmas. We put up a tree and we decorated the porch and we are really having fun with it. We had our own furniture and washer and dryer.
"We have a laundry room just off the kitchen and that's great. We have a carport with a shed to store things and next spring Habitat will help install a sprinkling system and we will landscape the yard. We didn't have a table and chairs, but we just got one and it's been so nice fixing a meal in the new, big kitchen.
"Our new house has four bedrooms and the twins share a room. It's nice to have our own space. Living with others has its difficulties and we really appreciate my parents for letting us live there with them.
"We really appreciate the community and all the help they have given us with the house. This is a really exciting, big step for our family and we appreciate everyone's help and support," said Stephanie.