"We are requesting low income families to make applications to us for that first house," said Gene Hall, president of the Conyers-Rockdale chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
But he added, candidates are researched thoroughly and the requirements are rigorous.
The family must be in need, and currently living in deplorable or overcrowded conditions. Applicants must have been a resident of Rockdale County for at least one year, have no bankruptcies in the last seven years and must be able to afford to pay for the house and the closing costs. The organization acts as a mortgage broker or bank and sells the houses to families interest-free.
In addition, said Hall, "They must be willing to partner with us. That means we will instruct them on and send them to a school on how to maintain a home. They have to learn how to take care of a home. Also they're required to devote 200 hours of their time as sweat equity during the construction of the house."
The chapter usually receives 50 or 60 applications for a house, said Hall. "I'm sure there will be more on this go around because of the present economic situation."
The last house built by the Conyers-Rockdale chapter was in 2005.
The chapter is waiting for the city of Conyers to give final approval to the Olde Town subdivision plan and as funds become available, the chapter will begin building houses. Currently, there are enough funds to build one house. The proceeds from the Habitat for Humanity surplus store at the intersection of West Street and Dogwood Drive help fund the building of new homes.
For an application and more information, stop by the Habitat for Humanity surplus store at 1117 West Avenue SW, near the intersection with Dogwood Drive or call (770) 785-7675. The business hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.