Through tax-deductible donations of money, materials, and volunteer labor, Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes with the help of future homeowners. Houses are sold at no profit to partner families with no-interest mortgages for the appraised value. The first mortgage amount represents our cost of construction, including the lot. The difference between the first mortgage and appraised value is set up as a second mortgage which is then forgiven at the same rate the first mortgage is paid off. The result is a lower mortgage payment that accounts for less than 30% of a partner family's income. The homeowner's monthly mortgage payments include property taxes and insurance. Mortgage receipts go to fund other homes for other families in need of decent housing.
HOW DOES THE PARTNERSHIP WORK?:
Habitat is not a giveaway program, but is a joint venture in which those who benefit from the housing ministry are involved in the work at various levels. Each homeowner family is required to invest "sweat equity" hours into the construction of their house as well as others. This reduces the cost of the house, increases the pride of ownership among family members, and fosters the development of positive relationships with other persons. In addition to the sweat equity, partner homeowners are required to invest their time in our extensive education program covering topics such as financial management and budgeting as well as family life skills and basic home maintenance.