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Mother of four moves into new Habitat for Humanity home

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Sharnisha Little, right, on the porch of her new home on Carmon Circle, stands with her daughters, from left, TyLija, 17; MyAsia, 14; Damonnie, 7; and ZyMari, 14 on the day she received the key.,

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By Beth Velliquette
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A mother and her four daughters moved into a brand new yellow Habitat for Humanity house this past weekend in north Greenville.

The four-bedroom, two-bath home is the 77th Habitat House built in Pitt County since 1991 and is part of the State Employee’s Credit Union’s $10 million Mountains-to-the-Sea challenge to build a Habitat home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Sharnisha Little, who works at a salon, applied to Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County for a home in August 2015, and after two years and 400 hours of sweat equity became the proud owner of a home in the Oak Grove neighborhood off Fleming School Road.

Last Tuesday, a crowd, including Mayor Kandie Smith, celebrated with Little and her four children as Little received the keys to the home on Carmon Circle.

Smith told those gathered that Little set an example for her four daughters and others about what could be accomplished with determination.

People who qualify for a Habitat house go through an application process and work on multiple Habitat houses for 400 hours to help earn their own house.

“Any family that is willing to do that is a better bet for the long term,” said Scott Johnson, executive director of Pitt county Habitat for Humanity.

That means someone who is willing to work hard to get a home will likely work just as hard to pay for the home.

The houses aren’t free despite the sweat equity, volunteer labor and donations from churches, local businesses and individuals, Johnson said. They’re sold to the family at the appraised value, and Little will still pay a mortgage for it.

The Carmon Circle home cost about $100,000, which includes the price of the lot, Johnson said. 

The loan is a zero percent interest loan through the credit union, Johnson said.

The home was built by volunteers and students from Pitt Community College’s construction management class, Johnson said. 

Pitt County Habitat for Humanity builds one to three houses per year, Johnson said. The last one before the Carmon Circle house was built in Farmville, he said.

Right now, two families are in the pipeline of the approval process to eventually receive Habitat for Humanity houses in Pitt County, and four appointments were made last week for people who are interested in the program, Johnson said.

As part of the process, the applicants will learn about personal finances, mortgages and the maintenance and upkeep of the home.

Habitat considers the applicant’s level of need, their willingness to partner with Habitat and their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

Pitt County Habitat also operates a ReStore on 14th Street, where they sell donated household items. The money made at the store is used to pay administrative expenses, such as the salaries of the staff and rent for the building.

That way any donations from individuals or businesses can go toward building the houses, Johnson said.

Johnson said he hopes to work with the mayor to find ways to build more Habitat for Humanity homes in Pitt County.

Contact Beth bvelliquette@reflector.com or at 252-329-9566.

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