Brush with Kindness Program (BWK)

Starting in 2021, L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity is offer the Brush with Kindness program for qualified and approved homeowners in the L-C Valley, so they can continue to live in safe, decent homes for years to come. Some of our affordable home repair work includes painting and landscaping, to preserve home exteriors and revitalize neighborhoods. The BWK program is a Habitat program that mobilizes volunteers to provide exterior home maintenance assistance to low-income homeowners.

The goal of the Brush with Kindness program is to serve families living in substandard housing by mobilizing volunteers in a meaningful community-building effort. As a result, homeowners have the opportunity to experience a stronger neighborhood and improve their quality of life. Volunteers have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others and to build teamwork among co-workers, friends and family. Communities are often revitalized through the investment of time and resources in the refurbishment of these homes.

The three major criteria for selection into L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity (LCV HFH) Brush With Kindness (BWK) exterior home repair preservation program are:

  • Need
  • Willingness and Ability to Accept Financial Responsibility
  • Willingness to Partner with LCV HFH

 NEED: The family must currently live in housing that is unsafe or otherwise in poor condition, such as

  • Structural deficiencies
  • Safety issues
  • Health-related deficiencies
  • Livability issues
  • The family must be unable to perform the repairs themselves
  • The family must be unable to afford to pay someone to do the repairs
  • The total household income must fall below the levels listed below:

Family Size Maximum Income*:

Household Size Maximum Median Gross Income to Qualify for BWK
1 $38,150
2 $43,600
3 $49,050
4 $54,500
5 58,900

*Income guidelines and estimated mortgage payments are subject to change. The above figures are Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) FY20 Income Limits for Asotin and Nez Perce Counties.

WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The family must be able to pay $100 deposit at time of signing agreement.
  • The family must be willing to repay LCV HFH a portion of the cost of the repair project, based upon gross income.
  • The family must sign a repayment agreement that allows LC Valley Habitat to recover a portion of the project cost if the house is sold within five years

WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER

  • The family must obtain and provide the required documentation and information by the given deadlines.
  • The family must be honest and cooperative with LCV HFH.
  • The family must perform sweat equity to the extent that they are physically able to do so.

 What is Sweat Equity?

Sweat Equity refers to the work that the homeowner performs with LCV HFH on the repair project for their home. Sweat Equity is key to the success of the Habitat program.  Working alongside volunteers to repair homes is one of the most unique and rewarding aspects of Habitat for Humanity.  For homeowners unable to work on BWK project, other accommodations to volunteer will be made.

  1. Home must be in Nez Perce or Asotin Counties, since this is our service area.
  2. There must not be any liens against the property other than mortgage liens.
  3. Homeowner must be current on insurance and property taxes at time of repairs and through repayment period.
  4. Applicant must be a homeowner, must live in the home, and the home must be the homeowner’s primary residence.
  5. Home cannot be used in a manner that violates local, state, and federal law.
  6. Homeowner must agree to continue to maintaining the home to the best of their ability (keep neat, clean, and in good repair) so as not to reduce its value or that of the neighborhood.
  1. Fill out all of the online or pdf application; incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered
  2. If the question doesn’t apply to you, you may mark N/A or leave it blank.
  3. Attach additional sheets as needed
  4. Sign and date the authorization and release forms
  5. If there are co-applications, both must sign
  6. Mail, drop off or upload additional requested documents- see follow section for list of documents

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION

Please upload or send copies of the following documents:

  1. Your newest income tax return.
  2. If you did not file taxes for this past year, please provide a letter, signed by you, that states you did not file taxes and the reason why.
  3. Your last 2 paycheck stubs or other proof of income.
  4. You last 2 bank statements showing all checking, saving, and loan balances.
  5. If you do not have a bank account, please write that on the application.
  6. Proof of child support and/or public assistance if you receive them.
  7. This includes SSI, TANF, Social Security, disability, food stamps, etc.
  8. Proof of home ownership.
  9. Deed of Trust or recent property tax receipt will be sufficient.

Our Brush With Kindness program allows unpaid volunteers to perform the affordable work for our eligible homeowners. The volunteers who work on the home are unpaid volunteers. Few, if any of them, are trained in the building trades and may be unskilled or have had previous experience.

  • Families partner with Habitat based on income, need and willingness to help.
  • We use volunteer labor and donated materials to keep costs low.
  • An affordable loan or grant is made to the homeowner to cover the cost of the work. Payments are placed in a revolving fund to help BWK serve others in need.

Qualifying homeowners contribute sweat equity by working side by side with volunteers to complete the work, if they are able.  Volunteers perform the vast majority of all the work on these homes.

Volunteers are recruited through businesses, churches and community groups. Volunteer teams of various sizes are matched with homeowners to work on and complete assigned tasks.

The goal of the Brush with Kindness program is to serve families living in substandard housing by mobilizing volunteers in a meaningful community-building effort. As a result, homeowners have the opportunity to experience a stronger neighborhood and improve their quality of life. Volunteers have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others and to build teamwork among co-workers, friends and family. Communities are often revitalized through the investment of time and resources in the refurbishment of these homes.

What are the selection procedures for Brush with Kindness candidates?

A: Upon receiving applications, L-C Valley Habitat staff review them for completeness and income qualification. Each homeowner’s circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis. Homes are chosen for evaluation, and the BWK Program Coordinator will schedule an appointment to assesses the structure’s need for paint and repairs. The homeowner(s) must be present to meet with the BWK Program Coodinator. Having your home evaluated does not guarantee that you’ll have your house painted – this is just part of the application process. Once the evaluations have been completed, homes and teams are selected and matched as resources are available.

When will I find out if I have been chosen for Brush with Kindness program?

A: Applications will be accepted throughout the year.  All applicants will be notified whether or not they have selected for the BWK program.

What qualifies as a disability?

A: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides specific definitions for a disabled household and for a person with a disability: A person with a disability is defined as an individual who: has a disability as defined in Section 223 of the Social Security Act; OR is determined to have a physical, mental, or emotional impairment which is: • expected to be of long, continued and indefinite duration; AND • substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently; AND • is of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions; OR • has a developmental disability as defined in Section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

My home does not need to be painted, but my shed does. Can I qualify for A Brush with Kindness program?

A: Probably not. To qualify for A BWK program, your home must be in need of paint. Your home is evaluated and prioritized based on its need for paint, not the needs of outbuildings, garages, or fences. Our volunteer teams are only required to paint the exterior of your home, so you would not qualify for the program if your home does not need to be painted.

Q: Will I get to choose what color my house is painted?

A: If your home is selected for evaluation, our Program Coordinator visit with you and show you our color palette. Based on his experience and your home’s current color, he will recommend certain paint. (Please note that we only require volunteers to apply one coat of paint, so our Evaluator doesn’t often recommend broad color changes.) We will obtain your approval before proceeding.

Q: I have been chosen for Brush with Kindness and now I have questions about the project (when my team is coming, how long it will take them, etc.)

A: Please contact the L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity office to ask about the specifics of your project. Each approved project has its own timeline for the project based on volunteer availability.

Q: How can I support Brush with Kindness program?

A: Please visit this link for information on how to support the BWK program.  Thank you!

Habitat’s Brush With Kindness program would not be possible without the generosity of our program sponsors:

Meet L-C Valley Habitat for Humanity Brush with Kindness Program Coordinator: Shelly Frei

My name is Shelly Frei.  I grew up in Grangeville, Idaho.  I have lived in the LC Valley since attending college at LC in the 80’s.  With my education degrees.  I began teaching at Holy Family School.  My career there lasted a wonderful 27 years.  I retired from teaching a couple years ago, and now spend time learning about our wine industry in the LC Valley, as well as spending time with my husband Paul and my kids and grandkids.  I also help out at All Saints Catholic Church.  I look forward to assisting Habitat and have always wanted to be more involved with such a great organization!