Habitat defers mortgage payments; pays taxes and insurance

Habitat for Humanity deferring mortgage payments and paying some bills for its homeowners. — File photo by MV Times File Photo

Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard is deferring the mortgages of all of its homeowners for May and June and is paying the property taxes and homeowner’s insurance on 11 properties across the Island, Greg Orcutt, executive director of the nonprofit organization told The Times.

Orcutt said members of the families involved have been out of work — a teacher at the Vineyard Montessori School and tradespeople — so Habitat wanted to find a way to help.

“We know all our families well,” he said. “We stay in touch.”

On the mortgage payments, the organization calls its own shots. “We’re the bank so this doesn’t cost us. It just delays putting the money in the bank,” he said.

The taxes and homeowners insurance money will not have to be paid back, Orcutt said.

“Most people do not have a couple thousand in savings,” he said. “Even if they do, with what things cost, that doesn’t go far.”

Orcutt said the board will reevaluate things in the coming months to see if more considerations need to be made, but he’s hopeful with some tradespeople getting back to work this week that there won’t be a need moving forward.

Habitat knows what other construction companies are going through. The organization was just weeks away from finishing a Vineyard Haven project for a family when construction was shut down on the Island. “Hopefully we can get them in before too much longer,” he said.