From the Desk of Jim Morris, President & CEO
I grew up in Michigan City, so I grew up going to the beach on Lake Michigan every summer. As a kid I loved building sand castles, but I think I was more fond of stomping on them afterward. In a unique way, our mission here at Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity allows me to carry forward some of my youthful passion.
We bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. To fulfill that mission we also break things. Results from a recent study that the Sagamore Institute conducted for us to better understand the impact of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership work on families reveals that we help families break through three main barriers to ownership:
- Lack of credit or poor credit history
- Lack of down payment monies
- Lack of understanding of the homeownership process
The study reveals that by breaking through these barriers and achieving affordable homeownership, families obtain the stability, strength, and independence needed to create a pathway to opportunities in their lives. Those opportunities can be in education, financial, and well-being.
For example, because we provide a 0% interest mortgage for the home, each household receives a financial benefit of $111,205 on average in interest saved over the life of the loan, allowing the family to reinvest in other aspirations that build their quality of life. Areas where families are reinvesting include completing higher education or training. Seventy-one percent (71%) of owners have completed, started or are planning to start some form of higher education or professional training.
This year we have a goal of providing 27 new families with the opportunity to break down barriers while building a new life for themselves. While I may not have the same satisfaction of the sand pouring through my toes after stomping it down, my fulfillment is so much greater when we see families who have fulfilled their dream of creating a better life for themselves through affordable homeownership.