News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Let's hope housing boom continues to help everyone

Eastwood Elementary School crossing guard Diane Kyle and her family moved from a roach-infested rental unit into a new house this week.

It's clean, warm, safe and cheery. And the three-bedroom home on Sherman Street Southeast is theirs as long as they make monthly payments of $253, which is less than rent.

What a Christmas present from Habitat for Humanity even though the family will pay for the house and were required to contribute labor to its building, or in some other Habitat home or community service.

The Kyle family of four is at the lower rung of the housing ladder on which people qualify for loans. Meanwhile, millions of other Americans on tight budgets are also spending their first Christmas in new housing because of the unprecedented housing boom.

The late U.S. Sen. John Sparkman of Morgan County championed affordable housing and government financing that allowed many families to realize the American dream of homeownership. He would applaud the boom.

Some experts say the housing boom is about over, but let's hope it is not. As millions of people move into expensive new homes, others are moving out of apartments and rental houses and into the ones that become vacant.

Habitat for Humanity helps see that those like the Kyle family get to participate. Habitat of Morgan County built five houses this year, has two under construction and is starting yet another one. It plans six more next year.

Like the rental house the Kyles vacated, Habitat says Morgan County has 1,800 substandard houses. Many of the people living in them could qualify for Habitat financing.

But they need our help.

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