The Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity is once again seeking to make the dream of home ownership into a reality in the city of Madison.
Just over a year ago, in December 2019, Brianna Friesz and her mother Diane moved into their three-bedroom home on Silver Creek Circle. Another house is planned for 2021 and the search begins this week for a qualifying family, according to Volunteer Coordinator Jake McGlade.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, interested individuals are invited to attend a homeowner application session at Nicky's Restaurant and Lounge on west SD-34. There, a member of the homeowner selection committee and the executive director for the Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity will share a short video and make a short presentation.
"They'll talk through what the process looks like," McGlade said.
Masks are required. If individuals do not have masks, they will be provided.
Depending upon the number of people who attend the meeting, preliminary screening will be done at the meeting or contact information will be obtained and individuals will be called at a later date. To jumpstart the process, interested parties are asked to bring a pay stub or W-2 and a list of their outstanding debts, according to McGlade.
Local advertising indicates Habitat for Humanity partners with families who are in need of better housing or may not qualify for traditional home loans. Selected families will put in sweat equity in addition to making payments on the home.
The organization's website lists income guidelines which are set annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number of household members is one of the factors considered.
Households with between one and four members must have a minimum income of $25,000. With larger families, there are incremental increases up to $31,957 for a family of eight. A maximum income is set for each family size as well. All income is considered, including food stamps, child support, VA benefits, and SSI or SSDI.
McGlade does not anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent the build from proceeding.
"We've been able to get a pretty good number in Brookings. We have plans for engaging people in Madison," he said. Habitat does have established protocols to keep volunteers safe.
Organizers of Wednesday's meeting are hoping that between six and 10 interested individuals or families will attend. McGlade indicated that those who are working or have another conflict at 6 p.m. should come to the meeting later. The two individuals doing the preliminary screening will be at Nicky's until around 7:30 or 8 p.m.
Should more than one family qualify for a home, Habitat does have a procedure for selecting a family for this year's home.
"In that case, we will serve the family in greatest need," McGlade said.