The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak may have you thinking about new ways to cut your costs.
One of the best ways to achieve that goal is through affordable housing, which Habitat for Humanity can provide. We’ll give you a quick background of this program so you can see if applying for Habitat for Humanity housing is right for you.
Why was Habitat for Humanity created?
The main goal behind Habitat for Humanity is to give everyone a chance to have a decent home to live in. To achieve this, the nonprofit organization has set up offices in over 70 countries and throughout the United States.
How does Habitat for Humanity function?
The organization gets donations from corporations, communities of faith, and individuals. These donations fund construction projects that are completed by a combination of volunteers from the local community, plus experts who are there to guide them to ensure that the homes are built properly.
Does Habitat for Humanity only build new homes?
While Habitat for Humanity is best-known for building new homes with the help of the community volunteers, the program also has “ReStores.”
These stores take donations of hardware and appliances and sell them for a fraction of the cost. Profits go towards the funding of Habitat’s homeownership programs.
In addition, Habitat also repairs existing homes. In some areas, the program may offer as much as $10,000 to a qualifying homeowner, so they can make critical home repairs to increase safety and accessibility.
Lastly, some homeowners can take advantage of Habitat’s cosmetic improvement programs. If you qualify, you could get $5,000, for example, to improve the exterior of your home, which can help you when it comes time to sell.
Are Habitat for Humanity homes free?
Despite what many may think of the program, Habitat for Humanity homes are not free. Instead, homeowners will be expected to pay a monthly mortgage, just as with any regular house.
What does Habitat for Humanity look for in a potential homeowner?
There are three essential criteria that the organization looks at when determining eligibility.
First, they must find that you require safer and more affordable housing. Second, they must see that you have the ability/income to pay an affordable mortgage. Lastly, you must be able to pay any associated closing costs with the home, plus a willingness to perform sweat equity.
What is sweat equity, and can you skip it?
Sweat equity can be seen as hard work put towards a project. For families with lower income, they can use sweat equity to replace the money they may not have to pay for a home.
In short, it gives them a foot in the door to finally achieve the dream of being a homeowner.
When dealing with Habitat for Humanity, sweat equity can come in various forms, such as:
- Doing construction work.
- Cleaning building sites.
- Doing administrative duties.
- Working in a Habitat ReStore.
Beyond those duties, your children can contribute towards sweat equity with good grades in school. You will also be asked to take classes on topics like credit repair, insurance, mortgages, and maintenance that can help you become a more responsible and informed homeowner.
How can you begin the Habitat for Humanity application process?
Visit the program’s official site by clicking here.