2012-08-16 / Community

Habitat receives award

HiawathaLand earns statewide recognition

A Habitat crew is shown hard at work recently rehabing a home located on Chippewa Avenue in Manistique. 
Courtesy photo A Habitat crew is shown hard at work recently rehabing a home located on Chippewa Avenue in Manistique. Courtesy photo MANISTIQUE – Habitat for Humanity HiawathaLand has achieved statewide recognition for its excellent building and operational standards. The affiliate recently exceeded the Habitat for Humanity International standards by meeting more stringent standards established by Michigan Habitat for Humanity.

Each year, Habitat for Humanity affiliates operating in Michigan are required to complete an annual “Readiness File” if they wish to qualify for the resources and grants available through the state organization, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. Habitat Michigan affiliates must meet the requirements of Habitat International to continue their affiliation, but also the more in-depth requirements specified by the state organization.

Michigan affiliates use a unique model for non-profit organizations of building or renovating houses and then selling the houses to qualified low-income families at an affordable no-interest schedule the family can meet. These payments are utilized by the local Habitat affiliate to build more houses for low income families. The community benefits by stabilized and beautified neighborhoods and through the increased property tax revenues paid by the new homeowners.

“We have set a high standard for Michigan. Our donors and volunteers entrust us with their precious resources to do good in their local communities and we want to be sure we earn their confidence and trust every day,” says Sandy Pearson, president and CEO of Michigan Habitat for Humanity.

Pearson explains that Michigan’s additional requirements of the affiliate include those of establishing a strategic plan, an annual fund development plan and a board of director’s declaration that commits to meeting the new laws required of organizations that issue mortgages.

In addition, for the 40 plus affiliates operating a Habitat ReStore as a fundraising activity, each store must meet the state level standards of operational excellence. These standards include licensing, finances and solid retail management practices.

Last year, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan was able to re-allocate resources in excess of $5 million to the affiliates in Michigan who invested in this special effort to meet the qualifications of the Readiness File.

For information on how to become a Habitat family, how to volunteer or donate, contact Habitat for Humanity HiawathaLand at (906) 341-7437 or visit www.hiawathalandhabitat.com.

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