Habitat and Veterans Community Project partnership matches local veterans with homes

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Those who have served our nation are benefiting from a new partnership between the Veterans Community Project and Habitat For Humanity.

The two groups are matching veterans who are ready to become home buyers with houses specially built for America’s heroes.

The Truman Heritage chapter of Habitat For Humanity has had a Veterans Build program, but often had difficulty finding veterans who wanted to become homeowners.

Many veterans, it seems, are reluctant to ask for help.

Enter the Veterans Community Project, which already provides tiny homes as transitional housing for vets, while it gets them ready to find permanent places to live.

Karen Carter served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard. She had been living out of her car before getting into one of VCP’s tiny homes.

Now, volunteers are helping rehab an Independence house for Carter, so she’ll have a permanent place to raise her 3-year-old grandson.

“Everybody keeps saying this is a house,” Carter said. “It’s not a house. It’s a life saver. It’s an opportunity for me to be a part of society. It also gives me confidence. It’s more than just a home.”

Under the program, Habitat sells the house at market value, somewhere between $110,000 and $120,000 for Carter’s house. But Carter gets an interest-free mortgage to make it affordable for her.

She also must help rehab the house, by putting in at least 350 sweat equity hours of work alongside community volunteers.

As the Veterans Community Project looks to expand their operations to other cities, the group said it also wants to expand its partnership with Habitat For Humanity everywhere it grows.

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