When was Habitat Founded?
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Georgia. Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties was organized in Utah in 1995.
What is Habitat’s Mission?
Habitat is a non-profit, Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and 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. To see Habitat for Humanity International’s impact, click here.
In Summit and Wasatch Counties, Habitat is dedicated to building and selling homes for working members of our community, so families in our area can live more proximately to the areas where they work, play and go to school. This is a more healthy and sustainable way of living for the families, and helps to build and enrich our community.
Is Habitat a Religious Organization?
Habitat is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing ministry. However, Habitat openly welcomes donors, volunteers and supports of all faiths – we need and appreciate everyone who supports our mission! Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, occupation or otherwise in its family selection process, and is an equal opportunity housing provider.
How Does Habitat Choose Homeowners?
Habitat has three principal criteria for family selection: 1) need; 2) ability to pay; and 3) willingness to partner with Habitat. Prospective homeowners must complete an application and provide Habitat with financial statements, tax returns and other information. They must consent to credit, background and reference checks and home site visits. Homeowners who successfully complete the application process are required to contribute 200 hours of “sweat equity” to build Habitat homes, and on purchasing a home from Habitat must make monthly mortgage payments to Habitat, which are used to pay for the construction of new homes for families in need. For more information on homeownership click here.
Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, occupation or otherwise in its family selection process, and is an equal opportunity housing provider.
Where Does Habitat Get the Land to Build On?
Habitat obtains land and real property through a variety of means: purchases on the open market (often funded through grants or loan programs), or donations from individuals, businesses or municipalities. The two homes completed and sold by Habitat in June 2009 were built on land that was donated by Heber City Corporation. Habitat’s 2011 and 2013 homes were built on land donated by Park City Municipal Corporation. Donations of land and real property help Habitat keep its costs low, which means it can provide lower-cost mortgages to its homeowners.
Does Habitat Give Away Homes?
Habitat does not give away homes for free. Habitat sells the houses it builds at cost, and provides financing to homeowners through a 20- to 30-year mortgage at zero percent (0%) interest. Homeowners make monthly principal payments to Habitat, which are deposited in a separate revolving fund (Fund for Humanity) and used solely to pay for the construction of new homes for families in need. Homeowners also make monthly payments towards property taxes and hazard insurance on the home. Homeowners are also expected to partner with Habitat, including by contributing “sweat equity” (e.g., their own time and labor) towards the construction of Habitat homes.
How Many Homes has Habitat Built?
Since 1976 Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 9.8 million people obtain a safer place to sleep at night along with with the strength, stability and independence to build better lives. Since 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties has completed fourteen homes, benefiting 16 adults and 26 children who might not otherwise have had access to permanent, affordable housing.
Where Do You Get the Money to Build the Homes?
Habitat is a non-profit organization that relies almost exclusively on tax-deductible donations of money and materials, as well as labor, to support its activities. Habitat receives monetary donations from hundreds of area residents, businesses and organizations, and governmental entities including Summit County. If you are interested in becoming a principal corporate and organizational partner, sponsor or supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties, please contact Melanie Seus at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435.658.1400 x1008.
How Does Habitat Prevent Homeowners from Selling Homes for a Profit?
Habitat maintains a “right of first refusal” to repurchase any Habitat home that is proposed to be sold by a Habitat homeowner during the term of the mortgage. In that way, Habitat can ensure that the home remains in the affordable housing pool, and is not sold at an inordinate profit to the homeowner. In addition, because Habitat sells homes at cost, it structures its mortgages to encourage families to remain in the homes over a period of time, and not “flip” them for a profit. If a family sells a home quickly, then under the terms of the mortgage most of the equity in the home would have to paid over to Habitat. Generally, the longer a family remains in their home, the more “equity” they accrue, which benefits them financially.
Will Having a Habitat Home in My Neighborhood Affect My Home’s Value?
Most if not all communities are required to incorporate a certain amount of “affordable” housing, so the mere presence of any affordable housing in an neighborhood – whether developed by Habitat or others – should not, by itself, adversely impact home values.
Habitat, like any developer, is required to abide by local zoning and building codes, which includes historic designations if applicable and restrictions on exterior appearance, landscaping and the like. As part of their partnership with Habitat, prospective homeowners are required to take a homeowner education class and may be required to take home maintenance classes. They are also provided with home maintenance and care guidelines. Generally speaking, it is usually difficult to tell a completed Habitat home from any other home in a neighborhood. There is no reason the presence of a Habitat home(s) alone should negatively affect others’ home values.