A charitable organization which is dedicated to providing housing to people who could not otherwise afford it. Volunteers give their time to help build houses, and the person who will get the house has to help build it too (so-called "sweat-equity").

"Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical non-profit Christian housing ministry that works both to eliminate poverty housing around the world and to make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. People from all walks of life are invited to work in partnership to help build houses with people in need." (Taken from some Habitat literature.)
Habitat for Humanity provides economical homes with no-profit, no-interest mortgages to low-income families living in sub-standard housing. Each family is selected based on need, willingness to partner with Habitat and the ability to repay a no-interest mortgage. Families are not selected based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, marital status or creed.
A common mis-conception is that Jimmy Carter founded Habitat; he did not, however. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's home is in Plains, Georgia, approximately 8 miles from Americus, where Millard Fuller (see this node for the beginnings of Habitat)founded Habitat in 1976. The Carters are long-time Habitat supporters, are definitely the most prominent volunteers, and have led the Jimmy Carter Work Project since 1984.
(See also: Millard Fuller, more to come)
Habitat Homeowners & Their Homes
  • Total amount of interest paid by Habitat for Humanity homeowners on their mortgages: $0.
  • Total number of Habitat homeowners who have gotten their houses for free: 0.
  • The foreclosure rate on Habitat homes is less than 1%.
  • In the US, the typical Habitat home is 1,000 square feet, with three bedrooms, one bathroom, no basement, and no air conditioning.
  • It takes an average of 4,000 volunteer hours to build or rehab a Twin Cities Habitat home.

The Numbers

  • Habitat for Humanity works in all 50 US states and in 91 other countries.
  • Habitat for Humanity builds an average of 34 houses each day around the world.
  • Over 100,000 homes have been built by Habitat worldwide.
  • Habitat is the 19th largest homebuilder in the U.S. according to Builder's Magazine, May 1999.

Housing Facts

  • 5 million US households find it necessary to spend more than half their pretax income on shelter.
  • By 2005, over one million people will live in Habitat For Humanity-built homes.
  • 15 million Americans are in need of subsidized housing because of their age, income status, or disability. Of these, only 4.3 million have access to subsidized housing.

Twin Cities Habifacts

  • 185,000 Twin Cities households earn incomes below $30,000 and pay more than 30% of their income for shelter.
  • 50,000 Twin Cities suburban households earn incomes below $20,000 and pay more than 30% of income for shelter.
  • 68,900 renters in the Twin Cities have incomes below $10,000. There are only 31,200 units affordable to these households.
  • A homeowner works between 300 and 500 sweat equity hours before moving into a Twin Cities Habitat home.
  • Twin Cities Habitat has built or rehab-ed nearly 350 homes as of 2000.
  • The average monthly payment for a Twin Cities Habitat home, including mortgage, insurance, taxes, and maintenance escrow is $400-$500.
  • The estimated number of Habitat homes to be completed in 2001 is 58. By 2003, we plan to complete 80 homes per year.
  • Twin Cities Habitat plans to construct 300 homes from 1998 - 2003.
  • Approximately 1500 individuals were living in Twin Cities Habitat homes as of 2000.
  • More than 250 congregations currently partner with Twin Cities Habitat.
  • Twin Cities Habitat has constructed homes in 31 communities throughout the metro area.
  • Twin Cities Habitat is ranked among the top ten US Habitat affiliates in number of homes built in 1997.
  • Twin Cities Habitat is ranked first among US Habitat affiliates in amount tithed to Habitat work overseas.
  • Twin Cities Habitat tithed $700,800 to Habitat International through 2000 for housing construction overseas.
  • 447 Habitat houses were built overseas through 2000 due to the Twin Cities tithe to Habitat International.

Sources included brochures and websites of various Habitat chapters.

Habitat would not be possible without the work not only of the Habitat organization, but also by the work of local volunteers who keep it up and running. Habitat provides funds and availability, but the work is done by locals, and students and groups who travel to the site to volunteer their time to the house.

To get a house through habitat, you need to match a certain criteria. Some interesting ones are that you must take a financial responsibility class for three weeks before you can qualify. You also must put in 500 hours of volunteer work on an already being built Habitat home, and have your work be signed off on by the construction surpervisor. They have made it so that not just anyone can recieve a home.

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