In our efforts to eliminate poverty housing, Cornerstone of Hope will build new homes for low-income to middle-income working class families who do not qualify for a conventional mortgage through banks or lending institutions.
What kind of homes are built in this program?
A typical Cornerstone home is approximately 1,100 square feet and has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Each home is provided with a driveway. These homes are made as maintenance-free as possible so as to keep costs low for homeowners.
How are the families selected for this program?
Each family selected to partner with Cornerstone of Hope for a new home build is chosen by a Family Selection Committee and our Board of Directors using a set of three criteria:
1. Need for Adequate Shelter
To be considered for a Cornerstone home, an applicant’s present housing situation must be considered unsuitable and they must be unable to obtain decent housing through conventional means. Unsuitable housing may include problems with the structure, water, electrical, heating or sewage systems. The ages and number of children, compared to number of bedrooms in the current home, are also taken into consideration.
Apart from a physical need for housing, Cornerstone of hope also considers a family’s financial need. Families are required to openly discuss their financial situation with Cornerstone of Hope, and in this way, families in difficult economic situations are eligible to get the helping hand they need. For instance, the percentage of income spent on housing per month will be considered in the family selection process.
2. Ability to Pay
Since families buy their homes from Cornerstone of Hope, they must be able to demonstrate some ability to pay the monthly housing payment. We help determine a family’s ability to make this payment in combination with all their other family financial obligations and expenses. Monthly payments include a mortgage payment, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes.
3. Willingness to Participate as a Partner
When selected for a Cornerstone of Hope home, an applicant becomes a “partner family” in the CSOH movement. A partner family’s assistance in building their home and the homes of others is considered “sweat equity.” Sweat equity may include helping with construction, painting, providing food for volunteers or working in the Cornerstone of Hope office. Not only does sweat equity help foster a sense of community between our homeowners, volunteers, and neighbors, but becoming a partner family promotes real ownership, responsibility, and dignity for the family members before they move into their new home.
How to Apply:
Families can apply to our program during our Orientation Seminars. Seminars are scheduled based on Cornerstone of Hope’s build schedule. Due to the nature of donation-based homes, there can be gaps between builds. Cornerstone will not pick a family until the entirety of the building cost has been secured.
The seminar is led by a Cornerstone Representative, who gives applicants an overview of the program, answers any questions, and help applicants fill out the Cornerstone home application. Anyone who has requested information from the Cornerstone of Hope office about the application is notified by mail regarding the next Orientation Seminar date, location, and time.
Cornerstone of Hope does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, disability, religion, marital status, or if all or part of an applicant’s income is derived from public assistance programs.