On a recent warm evening, seven Habitat Hillsborough homeowners gathered to commemorate paying off their mortgages “in-full” with a “mortgage burning” ceremony. The homeowners, having spent many years faithfully paying mortgage payments to Habitat Hillsborough now own their homes “free and clear”. Congratulations! Neighbors from the surrounding community and Habitat staff members congratulated the homeowners and joined the ceremony for a barbeque and time of fellowship. As homeowners burned their mortgages, they offered comments to the crowd noting their thankfulness and joy.
Habitat homeowners purchase their homes by obtaining an affordable mortgage from Habitat for Humanity. Mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners provide crucial funding that allows Habitat to continue and grow homeownership programs. Habitat Hillsborough homebuyers also participate in 10 homeownership educational classes (on topics including budgeting, insurance, energy efficiency and home maintenance) and they contribute a minimum of 300 hours of “sweat equity” building in partnership with volunteers and subcontractors.