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At least here people have to contribute to others toย help themselves – from latimes.com:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-habitat27-2009nov27,0,6797289.story

Unfortunately, for low-income families, even deeply discounted foreclosures are out of reach because of competition from more prosperous first-time buyers and investors. “If it wasn’t for this program, they wouldn’t qualify for something like this,” Quezada said. “Someone like them wouldn’t stand a chance to an all-cash offer.”

The home, which was bought out of foreclosure by Habitat, will cost the couple $208,000. In order to afford the property, Habitat arranged for the couple to receive a $65,000 silent loan through the city of Lynwood. (A silent loan, repaid only when the property is sold or refinanced, is often offered by cities and other local governments to facilitate affordable housing.) They will get a traditional loan for the rest.

The couple put in 125 hours working construction sites and other jobs for Habitat to qualify to buy the home.

Habitat for Humanity, Greater Los Angeles, aims to buy and renovate 20 properties during the fiscal year ending June 30. Rank said she sees the new availability of bank-owned properties as a way to preserve the group’s mission despite sagging donations from traditional donors, including banks, builders and the entertainment industry.

“We have a heavy investment in these communities, and we don’t want to see the families fall down again because of a high number of foreclosed homes sitting boarded up and vacant in their neighborhoods,” Rank said. “Right now it is really hard for low-income buyers to get a loan on properties, so Habitat is the builder and the lender, and we lend at zero interest.”

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