Mud’s the word for Habitat for Humanity’s annual runMud’s the word for Habitat for Humanity’s annual run.
Habitat for Humanity builds houses that are cost effective and affordable for low-income families. But the nonprofit, and its local affiliates, don’t just build houses—they provide a way for families to get back on their feet and transform their lives.
Since 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area (HFHGCA) has grown dramatically, with 247 houses built to date, and a projected three more by the year’s end.
HFHGCA works with Hamilton County families whose total income is between 30-60 percent of the area’s median income. Applicants must have a stable job and good (or no) credit.
“They have to be clean, financially,” said David Butler, executive director of HFHGCA.
Houses are sold to families based on their need, ability to pay a zero percent interest mortgage, and willingness to partner with HFHGCA. Each family living in a Habitat house signs onto a 30-year mortgage, with monthly fees of $400-$450, including taxes and insurance.
Families partner with Habitat by taking 20 homeowner preparation classes that cover wills, safety, budgeting and more, and by spending a minimum of 350 hours of “sweat equity.” Their hours are completed by assisting with the build of their home and their neighbors’ homes, and by participating in renovation projects for houses in Habitat neighborhoods.
Once they are able to qualify for a house, families purchase a lot from the “land bank,” which, at any one time, has a minimum of 10-15 available lots in neighborhoods throughout Hamilton County.
While construction for houses depends on the size of the family, lot availability, and the number of families who qualify for lots, 16-week builds are scheduled for each house once the foundation is set. But perhaps the most important factor for building a house is how much funding HFHGCA has.
One of the major (and most fun) ways HFHGCA receives funding is through the Chattanooga Mud Run. What started as a fundraiser idea from a group of people who had never organized a race has become a professionally organized 5K military-style obstacle course in which most of the obstacles are surrounded by or consist entirely of…mud.
On August 16, at 8:30 a.m., things will get muddy at Greenway Farms in Hixson as participants take on the Fifth Annual Chattanooga Mud Run. Though the race is filled with obstacles, the course accommodates all skill levels. Participants may run the full 5K or choose their own distance. “Your estimated time is where you can start,” said Jason Farmer, Chattanooga Mud Run race director.
Individual registration is $60 plus a $5 registration fee, and team registration (for teams of five) is $250 plus a $5 registration fee per person. “Plan on more mud. Plan on running muddy. Plan on finishing muddy,” said Farmer.
Following the race, attendees are invited to the Mud Run After Party. Set up near the mud pits by the finish line, the party will have beer, food, and live music.
In addition to all proceeds benefiting HHFGCA, there will also be plastic bins for runners to dinate their shoes. The collected shoes will be cleaned and donated to Haiti relief efforts.
For more information, and to register, visit hhabichatt.org/events/chattanooga-mud-run/