Habitat for Humanity home

A example of one of the many houses Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has helped to erect for the families it serves.

As Habitat for Humanity of Dane County families struggle to stay on top of mortgages amid the pandemic, eight area financial institutions have partnered with the organization to help them.

Announced Wednesday, March 25, via news release, Oregon Community Bank, McFarland State Bank, Town Bank, Bank of Sun Prairie, Dane County Credit Union, BMO Harris and Summit Credit Union have joined Habitat in an effort to fund mortgage relief for people affected by COVID-19.

The effort helps Habitat homeowners keep the same payment schedules with partner banks. McFarland State Bank has a location in Stoughton, Summit Credit Union in Stoughton and Fitchburg and BMO Harris in Oregon and Stoughton.

Jenny Ballweg, Habitat for Humanity communications director, said the Habitat homeowners don’t need to pay their payments, and instead have them deferred until the end of their mortgages.

The release states many Habitat families work on the front lines of the pandemic — stocking shelves, preparing and delivering food, working in critical care and serving in the clinics and hospitals that take care of COVID-19 patients. They do this with increased childcare costs as schools remain closed.

Other Habitat families are having work hours reduced or cut completely, leaving them without income, the release states.

“We started the fund to offer mortgage relief for Habitat homeowners impacted by COVID-19 – giving families room in their budgets to make up for lost income due to the quarantine, healthcare costs, and extra childcare fees,” Renk said in the release. “However, we didn’t know how to make it work for the mortgages that other financial institutions now owned.”

But with the help of the partner institutions Habitat and the homeowners came to a solution.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.