What Are Habitat Houses Like?
Simple, decent and affordable.
Habitat houses around the world are built according to the same 3 guiding principles:
Habitat houses are modestly-sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family’s needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
Habitat for Humanity uses quality, locally-available building materials. Habitat house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.
Habitat Houses in North America
Habitat houses in the United States and Canada are typically built using wood frame construction, Gypsum board interior walls, vinyl siding and asphalt shingle roofs. Some affiliates also use proven alternative building materials such as adobe or straw bale construction.
U.S. and Canadian Habitat houses are modestly-sized by North American standards. Habitat’s guidelines dictate that a 3-bedroom Habitat house may have no more than 1,050 square feet of living space.
Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to build with people in need readily extends to those with disabilities. When possible, Habitat houses incorporate basic accessible design features, such as a zero-step entrance and wide passage doors and hallways. Houses built in partnership with families with disabilities include additional accessibility features.
Habitat Houses in Locally
“This home is more than a house. It is a home with love, built with love and hope and dreams, because of Habitat for Humanity. You’ve given our family hope – no matter how bad things get or have been in the past. God has blessed our family with the caring, supportive, concerned, kind people at Habitat.”
– a Habitat for Humanity partner family
Why Habitat is Needed?
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis
- By 2020, it is estimated the world slum population will reach almost 1 billion.
- Lack of clean water and sanitation claim the lives of more than 1.8 million young children every year.
In the United States, 48.5 million people are living in poverty
- Minimum wage is not keeping up with the rising cost of living and many workers struggle to afford decent housing.
Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head
- Stability for families and children.
- Sense of dignity and pride.
- Health, physical safety and security.
- Increase of educational and job prospects.
The transformational ability of good housing
- Clean, warm housing is essential for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria.
- Children under 5 in Malawi living in Habitat for Humanity houses have 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses.
Housing must become a priority
- The percentage of people without access to decent, stable housing is rising.
- Increasing the housing supply across the globe is essential.
- Adequate housing is vitally important to the health of the world’s economies, communities and populations.
- If we are to succeed in the fight against poverty, we must support the expansion of housing both as policy and as practice.
Learn how Habitat is making a difference