Habitat For Humanity looking for more applicants in 2012

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A non-profit agency has its own New Year's resolution. It's to get more hard working families into their own homes. Habitat For Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast officials said their goal for 2012 is to spread the word about opportunities available and squash misconceptions concerning exactly who is eligible for the program.

Volunteers have built more than 300 homes for Habitat For Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the last five years.

"We've just got a lot of folks coming in inquiring about home ownership which we hope people continue to come in," said Adele Lyons of Habitat For Humanity. "We have homes available. We have opportunities available for folks, hard working families who are looking to move from a rental apartment or house and actually fulfill the American dream of owning their own home."

Habitat officials said recent design upgrades give homes a more modern look.

"We're trying to stay up with the times and new products that come out," Lyons said. "Trying to do as much environmentally friendly products. Green and durable products. Putting in bamboo floors. Changing counter tops. Changing cabinets. Trying to upgrade as much as we can, but still be affordable for folks and still be energy efficient."

One of the strategies Habitat has to increase the number of applicants this year is to correct misinformation about who is eligible. Officials said, too often people assume they make too much money to take part in the program.

"I think there's still a misconception that Habitat is for homeless people and for very very low income people," said Lyons. "We have people who are teachers and policemen. We have folks who work at Walmart. They just had barriers to home ownership that they haven't been able to get past and Habitat helps them do that."

For more information on Habitat For Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast call 228-678-9100.

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