We are not a charity that gives a hand out to low-income families, but rather a hand up to eligible families by providing a no-interest mortgage on the actual cost of the home. Our families come from various religious, economic and ethnic backgrounds, and are required to have long-term income and good credit.
The family must accept Habitat guidelines, which include an ability to make their moderate monthly payments and contribute their share of labor toward building their home. This “sweat equity” is provided by the recipients and their family members and/or friends who work and contribute 300 sweat equity hours for a single family accepted applicant, and 500 sweat equity hours for a two-parent family accepted applicant.
The family pays $1,500 in monthly installments prior to the completion of construction which is initially used to cover the insurance & closing costs for the house, and subsequently put back into the home. We believe that this payment combined with the sweat equity hours demonstrates a commitment from our homeowners, and this proven method is used by Habitats all over the world. Contributing more than just money gives the family a sense of pride and accomplishment, and helps insure that the family will appreciate their home and continue to protect their investment in it.
Once the house is completed and the family moves in, they begin their monthly no-interest mortgage payments, (mortgages are generally 20 to 25 years). The average payment for a family is approximately $350-$400 and covers principal, home insurance and property taxes. These mortgage payments are placed in a construction account so that we may build more homes, and an escrow account is set up on behalf of the family to cover the cost of their home insurance and property taxes for the duration of the mortgage.
Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations (HFH) will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must (i) adhere
to or convert to a particular faith or (ii) listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.