Habitat For Humanity Now Screening Applicants For Criminal Charges - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/21/07-Tyler

Habitat For Humanity Now Screening Applicants For Criminal Charges

Changes to the rules to get a home from Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, after ownership of a home was about to be transferred to an alleged armed robber.

Effective immediately, recipients and applicants will undergo a more extensive criminal background check.  Also, if an applicant is under indictment, probation, or on parole, the application will be held suspended until it is resolved.

33-year-old Derrick Hodges and his family were set to get the keys to this Tyler home.  That is, until KLTV 7 uncovered that Hodges had been arrested in connection with a Henderson Bank robbery. Not only has the Hodges application been stopped, but Habitat will now scrutinize more closely other applicants.  

"That family's application would be put on hold at that point. We're not going to rush to judgement and say someone is guilty just because there are indicted, but we are going to put the family's progress on hold with our program," said Habitat board member Greg Grubb.

Grubb said this decision was made not to punish families, but because legal troubles might cause problems with payment of habitat mortgages. 

If Derrick Hodges goes to prison, Grubb said it might be possible for Hodges' wife to re-apply on her own.

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