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Habitat for Humanity house nears completion but needs family

KEESEVILLE - Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity could have your new home waiting for you.

The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International has nearly completed construction of a home on Hill Street in the village of Keeseville and is accepting applications from families interested in purchasing the home through an interest-free mortgage.

The process of building a house then finding a homeowner is different from the nonprofit organization's typical method, said Harriet D. Burrell, president of the Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity board of directors. Traditionally, said Burrell, a family is selected then that family is required to put in a certain amount of "sweat equity" to help build their home.

The reason for the change in routine is because another family previously selected for the home will not be moving in, said Burrell.

"The circumstances changed for the other family and they were not able to take it," she said.

However, the situation presents the opportunity for another family.

"This house is almost built, so the family we choose will be able to move in with relatively short order," said Burrell.

Even though the three-bedroom home is near completion, there will still be a requirement for sweat equity.

"It'll be helping to grade and put in their lawn, as well as working on other projects for Habitat for Humanity," said Burrell.

In addition to providing volunteer labor, those wishing to apply to become owners of the Habitat house must currently live in substandard housing in Clinton County and meet certain income guidelines.

Having a Habitat home can be a life-changing move, said Burrell, and mean the difference between living in a nightmare and the home of their dreams.

"It's giving them a chance to buy a piece of the American dream," she said. "And, it's a hand up, not a hand out."

Homeowner applications may be obtained by contacting Habitat for Humanity at 564-7790, visiting www.cvhfh.com, or writing to Champlain Valley Habitat Humanity, P.O. Box 55, Peru N.Y. 12972.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 10.

"Whether it will be extended or not, I don't know," said Burrell.

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