Habitat for Humanity Frequently Asked Questions

What is Habitat for Humanity International?

  • Habitat is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry.
  • We believe that every person should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
  • We build, renovate and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations.
  • We welcome all people to work with us in partnership.
  • We advocate to increase access to decent, affordable housing around the world.
  • Learn more about Habitat.

Does Habitat give houses away?

  • No, Habitat for Humanity is not a giveaway program.
  • Habitat’s partner families buy the houses that Habitat builds and renovates.
    • Habitat makes no profit on the sale.
    • In the United States, Habitat homeowners purchase their houses through affordable monthly mortgage payments.
    • In other countries, Habitat also works with partner organizations to serve even more families through innovative financing methods.
  • Habitat’s homeowners also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners.

Does Habitat only focus on building new houses?

  • No, Habitat works in a number of different ways to create decent, affordable housing.
  • In addition to new construction, Habitat also renovates existing buildings in many communities, particularly in urban areas.
  • Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness and Neighborhood Revitalization help people repair and improve their own homes and neighborhoods.
  • Our Disaster Response program also works with local communities to address a variety of housing needs after natural disasters.
  • Habitat’s partnerships and advocacy work help raise the awareness and support needed to address housing needs around the world.

How are Habitat’s homeowner families chosen?

  • Families in need of decent, affordable shelter apply to their local Habitat organization, called an affiliate.
  • Each affiliate’s family selection committee chooses Habitat homeowners for their local area, based on three criteria:
    • The family’s level of need.
    • Their willingness to become partners in the program.
    • Their ability to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan.
  • Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection.
  • Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowner families.
  • Visit our page on becoming a Habitat homeowner to learn more.
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