Tri States Public Radio Staff
Fri October 21, 2011
Emphasis - October 21
Macomb, IL – Rich Egger's guests are Earl Godt, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of McDonough County, and Bill Jacobs, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of McDonough County.
They talk about local housing issues and the Housing America campaign that is underway across the nation this month.
Jacobs said the campaign is designed to raise awareness about housing concerns, especially what he calls "overhousing."
"Many families who have not been able to afford rent have been moving in with other friends or - more typically - relatives," said Jacobs. "You can see brothers moving in together. You can even see mothers moving in with their children. This is widespread."
Jacobs blames the state of the economy for the situation.
The Habitat for Humanity affiliate in McDonough County was formed in 1997. The group is looking for more county residents to apply for a Habitat home. Godt said applications are available from the affiliate's office in the basement of Wesley Church on West Calhoun Street in Macomb.
Godt said applicants must demonstrate an ability to pay for the house (successful applicants receive a no interest loan) and they must be willing to put some "sweat equity" into it.
"There is 400 hours of work that they must put forth into the house so they have a vested interest in the success of that house," Godt said. "It builds up the thought that this is their house and their responsibility."
The group is about to begin work on its 13th home, which will be in Prairie City. It will be the first earth-sheltered home built by the chapter. Godt said sustainability is one of Habitat's missions.