Portland, July 16th, 2013. The Thet/Kar family, originally from Burma, is moving into a new home thanks to a new Bank of America’s program. The donation is the first in the area and one of what will be 2,000 nationwide. B of A will turn over low-value foreclosed homes to Habitat for Humanity and in this case, the home at 1478 NE Killingsworth was renovated with support from Lowe’s Inc. and the Ballard family. The project included volunteer repairs to the roof and kitchen, new insulation, radon mitigation and upgrades for doors, flooring and various features to make the house healthy and energy efficient. (Photo credit, Sasha Davis)

Bank of America's Larry Davis and Monique Barton dedicated a home to a refugee family through their new partnership with Habitat, which will donate 2,000 homes over the next 2 years to Habitat affiliates nationwide.

Bank of America’s Larry Davis and Monique Barton dedicated a home to a refugee family through their new program which will donate 2,000 homes over the next 2 years to Habitat affiliates nationwide.

About Habitat for Humanity:

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East revitalizes neighborhoods, builds affordable and sustainable homes, and empowers families through successful homeownership. We are an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global home building movement. We welcome people from all walks of life to partner with us in serving families in need and creating a better community for everyone who lives here.

We work with qualified, low-income families to help them realize the dream of owning their own home. We believe that building equity is a long-term solution to the problem of generational poverty. Habitat is the only organization that offers homeownership opportunities to hardworking families making as little as $20,800 (for a family of four). We do this through a hand-up model in which the homeowner helps to build and then buys their home from Habitat.

Here’s how it works: after completing 500 sweat equity hours, the family signs their 0% interest mortgage and makes monthly payments that are based on less than 30% of their monthly income. These payments go into the Revolving Fund for Humanity to pay it forward, helping to build more homes.

Additionally, Habitat offers home repair services to low-income homeowners, using the same 0%-interest loan and sweat equity model.

Instead of being in a vulnerable and fragile economic position, Habitat families find themselves in a position of strength. Our homeowners are committed and successful. We have experienced less than a 1% default rate on our mortgages, lower than the national average. By providing a hand up, not a handout, our program prepares and empowers those we serve.