blog post

5 Things You Should Know About Habitat for Humanity & How You Can Help The Cause For Affordable Housing

1. Habitat Does Not Give Houses Away For Free
• The most common misconception about Habitat is that the houses are given away. In actuality, Habitat homeowners make monthly mortgage payments and property tax payments. In order to qualify for a Habitat home, potential homeowners typically have to show they’ve lived or worked in the community for at least one year, have proof of income within a set range based on Rockford’s Area Median Income, and must commit to serving approximately 300 hours on the job site, building their very own house alongside a team of volunteers, Habitat employees, and contractors.
2. Habitat Is not only working to end Homelessness
• Perhaps more important to Habitat than ending homelessness is emphasizing the need for affordable housing. As the cost of living continues to rise and the minimum wage stays relatively low, there is a full-blown, global housing crisis is in effect. In other words, it’s not just the homeless that we need to worry about; it’s also families who have housing but are left to pay a disproportionate amount of their income for basic shelter.
3. President Jimmy Carter Did Not Found Habitat
• Habitat was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Georgia. A Christian organization from the start. Carter became involved with Habitat shortly after its conception. The Carters’ involvement began in 1984, shortly after Jimmy’s presidency, when he led a workgroup in New York City to renovate a six-story building that served 19 families in need.
4. You Don’t Have To Be Handy To Volunteer
• Whether you identify more with Bob the Builder or the Gilmore Girls, you can definitely support Habitat, even if you don’t have the construction skills you think you’ll need. Surely, the most obvious way to join the cause is to sign up for a build. To do so, you’d register with your local Habitat affiliate.
5. You Don’t Even Have To Build To Volunteer
• Contrary to popular belief, Habitat doesn’t just build houses. Habitat for Humanity as an organization is involved in legislative advocacy, disaster relief, neighborhood revitalization, and international housing finance. Whether it’s in the United States or abroad, Habitat’s efforts always work toward furthering the supply of affordable housing, but that doesn’t always mean building a house from scratch.
*You don’t have to build a house to help Habitat, but if you do, I promise it’ll be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life*