Salisbury community celebrates new Habitat home owners
SALISBURY, Md. – Community members celebrated a Salisbury family on Saturday, after they recently bought their first home through Habitat for Humanity. It’s an accomplishment that’s shining a light on the need for affordable housing.
“We’re transforming it and crime is down and families now want to move back here,” says Molly Hilligoss, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County.
The Church Street neighborhood and the families who call it home are evolving, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County. “We’re able to give a family an opportunity to have more extra money at the end of the month to go to the movies or save for retirement or buy car seats for their car,” says Hilligoss.
The Joseph family now has those opportunities because they own a new four bedroom home in Salisbury. “All the children love the home, they love the house and the backyard and everything,” says Marthe Rosena, one of the home owners.
On Saturday the community gathered outside the Joseph’s home, celebrating their accomplishment and welcoming them into the neighborhood with open arms. Unfortunately, not every family can afford to own a home because the cost of living is so high. “Nationally, one out of every six people pay half of their paycheck toward rent. In Salisbury, it’s one out of every two people,” says Hilligoss.
But Habitat makes home ownership much more affordable by offering a unique no interest mortgage. “That’s not possible if you go to a regular bank. It’s only possible with Habitat for Humanity because we don’t charge interest. So their mortgage payment is only $600 a month,” says Hilligoss.
The Josephs say they want to lead the way for home ownership in the community. “It’s a great thing because they encourage them and also they encourage other people who don’t have this opportunity to be a beneficiary in that program so they can have their own home too,” says Christophe Joseph, one of the home owners.
“It gives a family that escaped tragic circumstances in Haiti an opportunity to build equity and to build a new life,” says Hilligoss. Now, it seems like the possibilities are endless. “And who knows what he’s going to do next. Maybe he’ll open his own business.”
Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County tells 47 ABC they currently have ten families on their wait list to buy new affordable homes.
If you’d like to learn how to volunteer, donate or use Habitat’s resources: click here.