South Bend church to build houses for people in need
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A church in South Bend is building affordable housing for the city’s northwest side.
At Kingdom Life Christian Cathedral, there’s a reason for everything.
There’s a reason why the church owns an empty lot on Sherman Ave. and 20 other properties like it throughout South Bend.
“We felt that it was important for us to come out of our four walls and impact our neighborhood,” said pastor Michael Patton.
Building four walls for the elderly, veterans, and families in need is the reason why Michael and Tina Patton purchased those properties.
“We want people to have homes that they can own, live in, stay in,” said Tina Patton.
“This area has had its challenges,” said Michael Patton. “We have poverty. We’ve had issues of violence, and so I think housing will help to minimize some of the challenges.”
The two hope to revitalize the northwest side by building affordable single family homes.
Through the program, people would only have to pay for the appraised value of a home. Notre Dame Federal Credit Union has pledged to provide people who qualify, with a loan that covers 100 percent of the home's appraised value. The difference between the home's appraised value and the construction costs will be paid for by Cross Communities. Cross Communities is a partnership between Kingdom Life and Holy Cross Church.
For example, if the appraised value of a home is $85,000 but the construction cost of the home totals to $100,000, potential homeowners would only have to pay $85,000.
Kingdom Life started acquiring properties in 2009. The properties were either purchased or donated.
“We want to make sure that if you have a desire for owning the home, you have no barriers that will keep you from doing that,” said Tina Patton.
Future homeowners must take pre and post home ownership classes with the church. People must also be able to qualify to purchase a $85,000 to $150,000 home.
Plans for the first home are being finalized. The group hopes to have the first home constructed and a family moved in by early next.
“The idea that we could find to a way to serve those people in some fashion, and uplift those people in some fashion is to me what we’re all about, what God is all about, what life is all about, what love is all about,” said Tim Short.
“This neighborhood has value and this neighborhood has made a difference over the past course of time,” said Michael Patton. “It’s important that we get back to those kind of things where people have a place to live, where people have safety, and all of that can be afforded to them.”
People who want to apply for the housing can call Kingdom Life at (574)360-6630 or go to www.kingdomlifeccc.org.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the houses were free. Potential buyers would have to pay for the appraised value of the home.