A Homeowner Story:
Amy Adams** 

Today the Adams household is filled with running, jumping, laughter and hugs. That wasn’t always the case. Back in 2004, single-mom Amy and her son, Nathaniel, lived in a cramped apartment on the north side of Martinsburg. It was just a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath for the two of them. She had a job working at Wal-Mart and Nate was failing in school. They were getting by, but she thought there had to be something better.

Amy applied for a Habitat house. Not a hammer swinging person, she opted to satisfy her sweat equity requirement by working in the Habitat office and ReStore. Habitat’s budget and home maintenance training were helpful to her.

They, with their toy poodle, moved into their new house and subsequently Amy married her husband Rick and they had a daughter, Maria. Later, they added a black Labrador retriever to the family. A peek in Nate’s room will tell you instantly he’s a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. And while he’s waiting for little league baseball season to start, he’ll be playing Wii Sports and Playstation games. It’s a sure bet that Maria likes pink since her bedroom is a mass of that color.

Although Amy’s family lives in southern West Virginia, she and Rick have a comfortable living room to entertain friends. In the living room, family photos are on display. An aquarium houses an Oscar fish as the main attraction.

Amy’s house also had a part in her transformation from store employee to business owner. It provided her adequate space to be able to start her own child care business. As part of the process, she had the house inspected before licensing. She takes care of four children ranging in age from one to four. As an added bonus, Maria gets some daily playmates.

The Adams family is in a house – a home – and no longer living in a cramped apartment, but the changes they are experiencing are far greater than just their housing.

** The names of this partner family have been changed to respect their privacy; however, all other details are true.

Homeownership Eligibility
Recipients of Habitat EP built homes become our partner families since they involve themselves in the building process. Our role in this partnership is to build not only homes but also to contribute to the development of the family and the community by building hope and the pathway to a better life through decent, affordable housing.

Since Habitat homes are built with donated funds and materials and utilize volunteer labor, they are very affordable. Partner families will have a zero interest mortgage amortized over 20 years. Mortgage payments will include insurance and property tax.

Habitat partner families are required to complete 500 hours of "sweat equity" before occupying the house. These hours can be completed while working on their home, performing other duties related to Habitat EP, and attending homeowners education class. A portion of the hours may be donated by friends and other volunteers. By involving themselves in the building process, Habitat families gain self-reliance and skills to become successful homeowners. Continued guidance is provided for families such as assistance with budgeting, home maintenance and other issues that may arise.

Partners selected by Habitat EP are low income families living in substandard housing environments. They live in homes that are structurally unsound; have plumbing, electrical or other critical service problems; are severely over-crowded; or are in crime-infested neighborhoods. Partner families are generally unable to afford simple, decent housing through normal channels. To participate, applicants must be residents of Berkeley, Morgan or Jefferson Counties.

The percentage of monthly income that applicants spend on housing is considered in determining need. Eligible partner families are selected from a low income range based on an annual median family income for the Eastern Panhandle as provided by HUD. All or part of the applicant's income may be derived from public assistance. Complete credit checks, references, tax reports, proof of expenses and income, as well as background checks are required. Home visits are made to meet the applicant in their present environment.

Habitat EP is required to follow laws regarding mortgage lending and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, familial status or national origin.

The first step in the application process is making a call to the Habitat EP Office and talking to an appropriate staff member about your interest. Our phone number is 304-263-3154.  Once you have spoken with a Habitat staff member, you will be instructed to complete the following Application Checklist and the Application.



  • Habitat for Humanity
  • of the Eastern Panhandle
  • Hours
  • Monday-Friday
  • 9am-2pm

  • Address
  • 630 West Race St
  • Martinsburg, WV 25401
  • Contact Us
  • Phone: 304-263-3154
  • Email Us