A Brush With Kindness

Repair Your Home with Habitat

A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) is a program of Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity that helps limited-income homeowners by offering affordable exterior home improvements. Volunteer teams work to improve the condition of homes by painting, landscaping and performing minor exterior repairs at minimal cost to homeowners who would be unable to complete home repairs on their own. Able-bodied homeowners are encouraged to work alongside the volunteers in a cooperative effort. This neighborhood-based program is for homeowners earning 55 percent or less of the area median income.

Cedar Valley Habitat operates ABWK in focused parts of the organization’s service area each year, with the goal of positively impacting entire neighborhoods through the service of individual households. Since 2010, a majority of the nearly 100 homes improved through ABWK have been in Cedar Rapids’ Wellington Heights neighborhood, with other projects being completed in all four quadrants of Cedar Rapids and Benton County. This year Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Thrivent Financial, Farmers Savings Bank & Trust, HACAP and others to bring its ABWK program to Benton County. With a goal of investing in up to a dozen owner-occupied properties in and around Vinton. We are currently only accepting applications for projects in and around Vinton, Iowa

Habitat works with prospective families to develop a project scope, budget and plan. Supplies and skilled labor are offered to homeowners via zero-interest loans. Payments on partner family loans are put into a revolving Fund for Humanity to help support other Habitat for Humanity projects. For those homeowners able to pay for their projects up-front, they may receive 50% off the total cost. In addition to repayment, homeowners are expected to complete 25 hours of “sweat equity” working on Habitat for Humanity projects.

Applicants who wish to participate in A Brush with Kindness must:

  • Own and occupy a home that needs and could benefit from short-term exterior improvements.
  • Meet the income guidelines outlined in the application.
  • Be willing to partner with Habitat to complete sweat Equity hours.
  • Be unable to complete home repairs otherwise due to age, disability, or circumstance.
  • Own and occupy a house in Cedar Valley Habitat’s designated focus area(s) in Linn or Benton County.
  • Possess current homeowner’s insurance.

Applications for A Brush with Kindness are available for download below. To receive a hard copy of an application, please call the Habitat office at 319-366-4485 or contact us, and an application will be mailed to you. In order to complete the application, you will need to provide copies of the following items:

  • Last three (3) months of checking and savings accounts statements
  • Name, mailing address and telephone number of your current employer
  • Three (3) months of pay stubs
  • Most recent tax return
  • Proof of child support and/or public assistance (SSI, Social Security, etc.), if you receive them
  • Proof of home ownership (this may include the Deed of Trust or your most recent property tax receipt)
  • Proof of current homeowner’s insurance

Required Application Forms

Complete and return in person or by mail to the CVHFH office.

Notice: The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age; because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has exercised in good faith any right under the Consumer Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 30580

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, age, marital status, or sources of income.