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Our opinion: An unfortunate loss of agency

During a time of great need, Warren County has lost a major partner. Habitat for Humanity dissolved its operations early this summer.

“We’re pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish in the meantime,” Rocco DelPrince, an agency spokesman, said. “Our affiliate was chartered in the early ’90s and we’ve built a variety of modest and safe homes throughout Warren County. Our partner families have used the opportunity to build a new life for themselves in their new homes.”

What was so significant about this charitable organization was it gave those needing a helping hand a chance.

Those who took ownership of the homes that were built or improved were empowered — and had a greater stake in the community.

Habitat homeowners traditionally build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. It was a tremendous combination here and elsewhere.

However, a change in recent regulations made the mission of the Habitat here too cumbersome. “We were considered by our governing bodies to be a ‘bank’ because we were in the business of selling homes, even though our mortgages were interest-free and we collected no fees,” DelPrince said.

That’s unfortunate for the future. Habitat had many successes. Its closing will leave a void.

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