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How the Habitat program works in the Fort Hood Area

Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity was formed by Millard Fuller in 1976 and although there are over 2,000 affiliates throughout the world, each affiliate is an independent entity with its own policies, procedures and organization.  The description below is of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc.  Our polices, procedures and organization follow the basic mold of most Habitat affiliates, however, it should not be assumed by the reader that all Habitat affiliates operate the same way.  There are often great differences between affiliates, especially relative to their size and the size of the communities they operate in.

The way that the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity program works is first we select low income families for whom we want to build a home.

The family selection process begins when a potential family contacts us.  Their name and address is recorded and they are sent a brochure on how to become a Habitat homeowner.  When we have another selection process, once or twice a year, we mail a notice to each of these families.  Families first come to a briefing on the Habitat program and its requirements.  In order to qualify for a Habitat home the family must meet three requirements:

1.  Be low income, yet have the ability to pay the mortgage.  The family’s income must be between 25% and 50% of the local median income as defined by the Federal Government’s Office of Housing and Urban Development.  The minimum requirement is in place to ensure that the family will be able to repay the initial cost of the home.  The upper limit is in place because there are many other programs available to families that make more than 50% of the area median income.
2.  Where the family lives now is inadequate.  Inadequate is a measure of their current living conditions and many factors are taken into account; utilities, structural safety, overcrowding, etc…
3.  Willingness to partner with us to build homes for other families.  Each family must perform a certain number (300 minimum) of “sweat equity” hours.  The number of hours is 300 hours plus 50 hours for each family member 16 and over.  The family must complete their “sweat equity” hours before work will begin on t

        10 Key Facts about Habitat for Humanity

1) Habitat for Humanity is a Christian ministry.  CHRISTIAN MINISTRY Habitat brings together all kinds of people in the service of God.  Persons of different faiths, ages, races and backgrounds put aside their differences and agree on the hammer as an instrument of God’s love.  “Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” 1 John 3:18

2) Total Number of Habitat for Humanity homeowners who have gotten their homes for free: 0
NO FREE HOMES Habitat works because it enables people to become homeowners and to improve their life.  It is a hand up, not a hand out.  Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry.  Habitat invites people from all walks of life to work together in partnership to help build homes with families in need.  All Habitat homes are sold to the homeowner at zero percent interest.

3) Habitat Homeowners Must Qualify.  Partner families are selected based on three primary criteria.  The family selection committee reviews the applications and completes a home visit and credit check as a part of the selection process.  Habitat for Humanity follows all fair housing laws in selecting families.
Applicants must….
     a. Have the ability to repay.  Habitat for Humanity partner families are low income, but have enough income to make a house payment and pay their bills.
     b. Be willing to partner.  Partner families perform 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” which is work on their Habitat home and other families’ homes.
     c. Have a need for housing.  Partner families must have a need for housing.  Specifically where they live now is not adequate due either to overcrowding, unsafe, or unaffordable housing.

4) Number of Habitat affiliates in the United States:  more than 1600
COMMUNITY BASED While Habitat for Humanity International has a worldwide mission, it is based on the philosophy that communities should work together to solve the problems in their community.  Habitat is based on partnerships formed in the community to address issues of homelessness and poverty housing.  Within the community, businesses, churches, service organizations, and individuals all partner to make one of our homes a success.

5) Average price of a Habitat home in the Fort hood Area is $39,000 The average price of a home in the Fort Hood Area for the year 2000 was 79,000. AFFORDABLE  HOUSING. We are targeting families who could not afford or qualify for a conventional loan to buy a home.  Our homes cost less for several reasons:
     a. We build homes with volunteer labor, both skilled and unskilled.  This allows us to save the single greatest cost of building a home, labor.  The tremendous cost of skilled labor associated with a home is a major reason homes cost so much.  A Habitat work day is much like an old style barn raising where members of the community come together to help a member of the community.
     b. Our mortgages are zero interest.  Homeowners pay back the amount it cost us to build the home.  These mortgage payments are put back into the Habitat program to build more homes for more low income families.
     c. A great many individuals and businesses donate time, materials and services to us for free or at reduced costs which allows us to build for a lower price.

6) The Habitat for Humanity program completed its 100,000 house in 2000.  In the Fort Hood Area, we will complete our 21st home in 2003.  Linda and Millard Fuller started the WORLD WIDE MISSION of Habitat in 1976 with the goal of eliminating substandard housing and homelessness in the world. This goal may sound unattainable, big, but look how far we have come! There are 1677 affiliates in the United States. 100,000 Houses have already been built!

7) Number of US residents living in Habitat houses:  more than 80,000.  Number of people worldwide living in Habitat for Humanity houses in 1999:  about 375,000.  LONG TERM SOLUTION Habitat for Humanity is a long-term solution.  The homes are SOLD to homeowners, many of whom will pass them down to their children.  Homeowners experience an impact in self-confidence, and the security that comes with the assurance of safe decent housing.  Homeowners pay property taxes and are responsible for the upkeep of their homes.  One of the greatest things about the long term solutions of Habitat homeownership is that we break the cycle of poverty.   A recent study indicates that a child raised in a home is 25% more likely to graduate High School, 59% more likely to live in a home when they grow up, and 116% more likely to go on to college.

8) Number of countries affiliated with Habitat for Humanity: 83.  Number of affiliates outside the US: over 660.
TITHING In order to support the development of better housing worldwide, each Habitat affiliate tithes part of their money raised to a Habitat in another country.  Homes are much less expensive to build in other countries and our money goes a lot farther.    A home in many other countries costs 10% of a home in the United States;  in other words, the 10% tithed on one home in the US will build another home in the world (two for one!!)

9) Habitat for Humanity Homes are simple decent homes.  SIMPLE DECENT HOMES Habitat president and founder Millard Fuller says  “Habitat builds simple decent housing for all, not a few nice houses for a few lucky people.”  A two-bedroom home is 882 sq. feet, three-bedroom home is 986 sq. feet and a 4-bedroom house is 1196 sq feet.  Homes are built using volunteers and donations to keep cost down.  We build the homes with an eye to energy efficiency and long-term maintenance.  The homes come with a refrigerator and a range, and washer/dryer hook-ups.

10) How can you get involved with Habitat for Humanity?  Our partners range in scope from those who are prayer partners to those who sponsor a whole house.  The options are unlimited.  Habitat for Humanity cannot work without the support of churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals.

Partnership Possibilities
Partner in prayer
Sponsor a workday of volunteers and a meal
Make lunch for volunteers
Sponsor a fundraiser
Sponsor a house
Serve on a committee
Serve on the Board of Directors
Volunteer at the work site
Volunteer in the office
Host a Habitat for Humanity Vacation Bible School
Donate tools or materials
Ask for a presentation