As we balance multiple sites and the other challenges inherent to the development of community development, this year we have encountered a new obstacle - finding qualified homebuyer partners. Because our nation is struggling with high unemployment combined with more personal debt, fewer and fewer of our applicants are qualifying for the zero interest mortgages.
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) has and always will take seriously the integrity of our family selection process. We have always wanted to partner with long-term successful homebuyers and not just interested applicants. Sadly, we find ourselves having to turn many many more away than in years past.
With the nationwide focus on the increases in foreclosures, please understand that the selection of our families is more critical than ever - as we certainly do not want to contribute to this statistic. In light of this new obstacle, we have formed a partnership with a non-profit credit counseling entity and currently have over 25 families enrolled in the classes needed to prepare them for their own future partnership with HFHSL.
Let us be clear- there is still a desperate need for safe, simple, affordable, housing in St. Louis and we continue to lead the charge in providing this basic necessity. Thus, we count on your patience and partnership to weather this storm. We are currently aggressively seeking applicants at employment fairs, community meetings and even via the media. If you believe that you have an opportunity (at your place of employment, place of worship or other) that may be appropriate for either a HFHSL homebuyer presentation or distribution of homebuyer materials, please let us know. And, as always, thank you for your continued support of HFHSL.
For more information, please listen to a recording of Avis Laden, HFHSL Family Selection & Support Manager, talk about this issue on St. Louis Public Radio. You can download an audio-recording on their website.