Habitat for Humanity press release:
Mortgage Burning party for the first home built by Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity
In 1987, Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity built their first house for Cecilia Thomas, a single mother with three young daughters. On October 2, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. Cecilia Thomas will burn her mortgage in a ceremony with Habitat. While roasting marshmallows and making s’mores as well, celebrating the fact that when Cecilia paid her mortgage payments she helped Habitat build “s’more” houses for more worthy people like herself.
Cecilia Thomas has not had an easy road since she helped build her home in 1987. She suffered some job layoffs and worried about how to pay her mortgage, but she never gave up. She always kept in touch with the Habitat staff and worked her way to reach her goal…owning her own home. Cecilia says, “You’ve got to have that faith. You’ve got to hold on to it no matter what. I was determined. My goal is to have my house paid off, and I made it!”
Like Cecilia, every Habitat owner is involved in the process of building his or her home from the moment ground is broken. Each family makes a $500 down payment on a 20-year, interest-free mortgage. Because of volunteer involvement, the cost of a standard three-bedroom home is kept affordable at approximately $65,000, with the monthly mortgage payment around $365, which includes taxes and insurance. Mortgage payments, like Cecilia’s, are deposited into a revolving “Fund for Humanity” account which are reinvested in the community in the form of additional housing opportunities.
Cecilia Thomas is looking forward to her mortgage burning and enjoying home ownership. Cecilia says she feels proud every day, standing outside waiting for her ride to her job at Kingston Care Center. She says, “I just stand in the yard, and I look at this…and I say, ‘This is all mine.’”
If you would like to join Cecilia for her mortgage burning celebration at her home at 3043 South Lafayette Street and enjoy some delicious s’mores, or if you would like to learn more about the Habitat homeownership program, or see if you may qualify for a Habitat home, please contact Nea at HABITAT (260.422.4828).
About Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity
Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)3 non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that uses volunteer labor to build simple, affordable homes through partnerships with low-income Allen County families. Once completed the homes are sold to the family with a $500 down payment and at no profit on a 20-year, interest-free mortgage. Because of volunteer involvement, the cost of a standard three-bedroom home is kept affordable at approximately $65,000, with the monthly mortgage payment around $350, which includes taxes and insurance. Mortgage payments are then reinvested in the community in the form of additional housing opportunities.