SMITH COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - This week Habitat for Humanity of Smith County will launch construction on its 100th home in Smith County.
To mark the milestone, Deanna Harrison, Habitat's dir-ector of development, is serving as a guest columnist. She shares "10 Things Everyone Should Know About Smith County Habitat for Humanity."
Most people have heard the name of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. But many people do not know much about the organization oth-er than that they have something to do with houses.
Here are 10 things everyone should know about their Smith County Habitat.
1. Smith County Habitat is the local, independent affiliate of the international nonprofit Habitat for Humanity. The org-anization is governed by a board of directors made up of local community leaders.
2. More than 98 percent of Smith County Habitat's revenue stays right here in our community.
3. Smith County Habitat is a Christian organization that partners with people of all faiths and backgrounds.
4. Smith County Habitat builds and renovates homes for low-income families. The 100th new home is being built at 1702 N. Spring Ave. in Tyler and will be completed by Thanksgiving.
5. The average Habitat home is 1,350 square feet and is built primarily through volunteer labor. Smith County Habitat builds communities by building multiple houses in one neighborhood.
6. Habitat homes are funded by donations from businesses, corporations, civic organizations, churches and individual donors.
7. Families who purchase a Habitat home have a 30-year, interest free mortgage. They must first invest 350-500 hours of sweat equity helping to build their home and other Habitat homes. The sweat equity counts as their down payment.
8. Smith County Habitat holds the mortgage on every home they build.
9. Smith County Habitat has been helping low-income families in our community for nearly 25 years by advocating for affordable housing.
10. Smith County Habitat makes critical repairs on existing homes of low-income homeowners.