Myth: Habitat Homes Are Free to Partner Families.
Fact: Houses are not given to anyone. Habitat builds houses with those in need and then sells the houses to homeowner partners. Because of Habitat's no-profit, no-interest loans, and because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage payments can be kept reasonable. Habitat homeowners typically have income that is 30-60% of the median income in Wexford County. They are required to invest at least 300 "sweat equity" hours into building their home with Habitat.
Myth: You have to be Christian to be a Partner Family.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity was founded as and remains a Christian ministry. However, homeowners are chosen according to the requirements of the law and the belief that God's love extends to all - regardless of race, creed, and nationality. We also welcome volunteers from all faiths or no faith who can actively embrace Habitat's goal to eliminate poverty housing around the world.
Myth: Jimmy Carter started Habitat.
Fact: Habitat was started in Americus, Georgia, in 1976 by Millard Fuller and Linda Fuller. Former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn live in Plains, GA, just eight miles from Americus. The Carters are longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national and international recognition to Habitat for Humanity. They annually lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project, which has built more than 1,000 houses.
Myth: Habitat homeowners can sell their Habitat home to make a profit.
Fact: Special second mortgages that are "paid off" by people living in the house, as well as first buy-back option clauses that Wexford Habitat puts into their agreement with Partner Families help alleviate concerns that some people may have regarding the resale of houses.
Myth: Habitat is supported by the government.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity International is an independent, nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. It is not an arm of the government, nor an arm of any particular church denomination. Habitat does not accept government funds for the construction of homes; however, Habitat may accept government funds for the acquisition of land or houses in need of rehabilitation. Habitat also accepts government funds for streets, utilities, and administration expenses, so long as the funds have no strings attached that would limit its ability to build each Habitat house as a demonstration of God's love.
What kind of homes does Habitat Build?
Habitat for Humanity stresses that we build "simple, decent, affordable housing." The typical home is 1,000-1,200 square feet with two or three bedrooms and one bathroom and no garage. Locally, a home costs around $65-75,000.
Where do you build Habitat Homes?
The Board of Directors determines a long-term strategy to not only help individual families, but to redevelop neighborhoods and eventually create an environment to revitalize the community.
Habitat talks about Partnership, what does that mean?
Habitat for Humanity is different from most social works in that it requires participants to have a willingness to "Partner". Each Partner Family must spend a significant amount of time devoted to "sweat equity", in addition to making reasonable payments toward the closing costs for their home. Finally, they pay for their home by payments that they can afford which go toward helping other families build homes. We believe that only grassroots partnerships between the local community and those in need can make a lasting difference and a change in our neighborhoods.
*This information is taken in part from the Habitat for Humanity International publication "Myths and Truths"