This is a basic FAQ sheet designed to answer the most common questions people have about us and our work.
is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFH seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.
Habitat has built more than 175,000 houses around the world, providing safe, decent, affordable shelter for more than 900,000 people. Locally, the UW Platteville chapter has been involved in building 2 houses in Grant County and donating thousands of dollars to Grant County Habitat for Humanity.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor -- sweat equity -- into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
Throughout the world, the cost of houses varies from as little as $800 in some developing countries to an average of $46,600 in the United States. In Grant county the cost of a house is usually around $60,000.
Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price and no interest charged on the mortgage. Mortgage length varies from seven to 30 years.
Habitat for Humanity's work is accomplished at the community level by affiliates -- independent, locally run, nonprofit organizations. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area -- fund raising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing.
Habitat for Humanity International's headquarters, located in Americus, Ga., USA, provides information, training and a variety of other support services to Habitat affiliates worldwide.
All Habitat affiliates are asked to "tithe" -- to give 10 percent of their contributions to fund house-building work in other nations. Tithing provides much-needed funds for international building, and it also gives affiliates the opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of Christian partnership. In 2001, U.S. affiliates tithed $9.04 million to support Habitat's work overseas. Some affiliates in developing countries also receive funding grants from Habitat for Humanity International.
Habitat is a worldwide, grass-roots movement. There are more than 2,100 active affiliates in 100 countries, including all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Use our affiliate search to find Habitat affiliates in your area.
Families in need of decent shelter apply to local Habitat affiliates. The affiliate's family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the no-interest loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses.