The Chavez family becomes Habitat Home owners

Published 11:17 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

Newly built Habitat Home in Columbus 


COLUMBUS—Raymundo and Elia Chavez have become the newest Habitat Home owners in Columbus. The Chavez family was previously renting a two-bedroom trailer that was far too small for their family of six. 

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The Chavez family worked alongside Habitat volunteers for over 400 hours to build their new home before closing and receiving the keys. After having the keys turned over, Raymundo said, “We are grateful to the community for helping us start a new and better life.”

Habitat has been making a difference in Polk County NC and Landrum SC since 1983. In 2017, Thermal Belt Habitat merged with Henderson County Habitat to benefit from Henderson County Habitat’s administration in order to comply with new mortgage laws. Since the merger, four Polk County and Landrum families have partnered with Habitat to build their new homes.

Thermal Belt Habitat is increasing the number of homes built each year to help more families in Polk County and Landrum improve their quality of life. Habitat strives to help strengthen communities by helping establish stability and teaching self-reliance to their homeowners to help them lead better lives. 

Prospective Habitat homeowners must currently live or work in Polk County or Landrum and be living in inadequate housing with the inability to obtain a traditional mortgage. Habitat homeowners must also meet certain citizenship and income requirements, have a steady source of income, demonstrate financial responsibility and be able to pay an affordable mortgage which is defined by Habitat as no more than 30 percent of their income. And finally, Habitat homeowners must help build their homes through a process of “sweat equity” the same way that the Chavez family spent over 400 hours working on their home. 

To help attract future Habitat homeowners, Habitat is waiving the $45 application fee through September 30th. Ron Laughter, President and CEO of Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity said this about the waved fees, “Now is the perfect time for families to partner with Habitat. Decent shelter is something we all need to stand on our own. When families can pay an affordable mortgage, they have more money left over at the end of the month for food, healthcare and education.”

Thermal Belt Habitat is always looking for more volunteers and donations to help support their projects. Donations can also be sent to Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity at 40 East Mills Street in Columbus, or online at