NORTH ADAMS -- A local nonprofit seeks to help make homeowners of an area family or individual.
Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity (NBHH) is calling for applications on a West Shaft Road property it owns. The home is roughly 1,200 square feet and will undergo a full renovation beginning this month.
The chosen applicant will be able to move into the newly renovated home with a reasonable mortgage, possibly before the end of the year, according to NBHH Project Manager Paul Austin.
"I'm hoping we can get it done so the family gets in by Christmastime," he said.
NBHH provides an interest-free mortgage, which Austin said, ranges between $85,000 and $90,000, and also takes care of construction costs through the work of volunteers.
The selected family or individual also is expected to participate in the labor. Austin said NBHH recommends a minimum of 500 hours of "sweat equity" from the selected party.
The home will likely go to applicant with the greatest need, he said, someone who's current living conditions are inadequate, dangerous, unsanitary or cost more than 50 percent of the household's income.
The new owner will also have to show an ability to pay the mortgage, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, water and sewer bills and utilities. With NBHH handling the mortgage, though, flexibility is greater than with a bank, Austin said.
"The idea is to improve a family's housing situation," he said. "... These are great homes."
Once a family is chosen, their payments "go back into new homes for families and keeps the ball rolling," Austin said. The NBHH selection committee consists of five members.
NBHH owns nine homes in Northern Berkshire, and also serves Stamford, Vt.
Austin said the group intends to expand its activities in its covered area.
The group also just finished installing an outside handicap ramp on a home at 7 Kittler Ave. in Adams. The group would like to do a full-scale renovation for a home in that town, Austin added.
They're also continuing to incorporate more clean energy technologies such as installing solar panels and energy conservation insulation into home renovations.
Applications are due by July 31. To learn more, call 413-664-4440, email nbhabi
email@example.com or visit the NBHH office at 61 Main St.
To reach Phil Demers, email