Habitat for Humanity can't give a house away.
A group of eight churches in Columbia County are working with Habitat for Humanity to build a home in rural Columbia County. Oscar Taylor (from left) and Harold Cummings, with Concern Citizens of Columbia County; Lloyd DeFoor, a member of Damascus Baptist Church; Cornelius Green, Concern Citizens of Columbia County and Joe Hester, the pastor of Damascus Baptist Church walk down Old Winfield Road.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
But a group of volunteers is offering a needy family the chance to earn a new home in Winfield.
Lloyd DeFoor, of DeFoor Realty in Appling, proposed building a Habitat Home for the Augusta/CSRA Habitat for Humanity and offered the donated land off Cobbham Road to construct it on. It will be the county's second Habitat home.
"You hear all this junk, bad things," DeFoor said. "We are trying to do something that would bring everybody together, get people to work together and try to help somebody have a house.
Hugh Tarcai, executive director of Augusta's Habitat for Humanity office, said that it is rare for a group to come to the organization offering something like the Winfield community is willing to do.
The high price of property in Columbia County has made building Habitat homes difficult as most land is donated, Tarcai said.
"There is a need out there (in Columbia County), and we haven't been able to fulfill it. It is as big a need as anywhere else," Tarcai said. "This is a kind of answered prayer for me. We have been really trying to get something done in Columbia County and praying about and looking and trying to figure out how to do it."
The first step is to chose a qualified family to purchase the home. Potential homeowners must qualify based on income and need, be able to pay $500 closing costs and a no-interest mortgage for the cost of materials used and put in 500 hours of sweat equity - on the home construction and at other non-profit organizations, Tarcai said.
The two groups are holding a meeting for potential tenants from 7-9 p.m. June 1 at the Eubank Blanchard Community Center on the corner of Cobbham and Ray Owens roads in Phinizy.
The meeting is a requirement for anyone hoping to qualify for the home. The process will be explained, and potential tenants will fill out mandatory applications.
DeFoor and the volunteers began planning the project last fall. Tarcai said an applicant could be chosen 30 days after the June 1 meeting, and construction could begin as early as July.
"I like to see the community come together," said Oscar Taylor, Winfield resident and president of the Concern Citizens of Columbia County. "That is what it's all about. Everyone will be proud of it. It may go to one person, but everybody will be proud of it."
The donated property is 0.63 acre located just off Cobbham Road on Old Winfield Road. Habitat offers potential homeowners a choice of two or three different house plans.
"It makes them feel more like having a choice in their homes," Tarcai said.
DeFoor said his group is already looking forward to building more homes in the area.
"If this is successful, we will pursue it and see if we can find other areas," DeFoor said. "Habitat for Humanity is a great organization, a way for us to help somebody have good housing, help the community and glorify Jesus.
"It is exciting. Hopefully, people will get behind it, and we'll all have fun while we are doing it."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.