How much do you know about Habitat for Humanity? You may know that they build houses and help communities, but if you keep reading, you’ll learn a lot more than that.
1. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for low-income families for several reasons.
Many of the reasons why Habitat offers affordable housing is to uplift communities. For instance, they build to:
- Keep kids from having to change schools and eventually dropping out.
- Decrease the risk of behavioral and emotional problems in children that are linked to living in unsafe or unclean environments.
- Combat issues associated with low wages and high rents.
- Give children a better chance of going to college. According to statistics, kids raised in Habitat homes are twice as likely to go to college compared to local children from similar economic backgrounds.
- Help homeowners become financially independent. For example, Habitat homeowners in Canada reported a 5.2 percent increase in income.
2. The program was founded in 1976.
After 120 homes were built in three years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Habitat launched with the idea that it could work anywhere in the world.
3. San Antonio, Texas, was the first Habitat city.
While Zaire was the launching point, San Antonio became the first city in the U.S. to receive a Habitat home.
4. Habitat for Humanity operates on a global scale.
Over 70 countries across the globe have Habitat homes.
In the United States, there are 1,400 Habitat communities.
5. Canada is home to the first Habitat ReStore.
25 years ago, Winnipeg, Canada, housed the first Habitat for Humanity ReStore. While the program helps build new homes and repair existing ones, its ReStores offer donated home improvement items at a small fraction of their original cost.
There are now over 930 ReStores operating to make owning a home even more affordable.
6. Hurricane Katrina led to construction.
Once the hurricane was over, it led to Habitat’s first home on the United States’ Gulf Coast.
7. The program offers free education to its homeowners.
When you make the move to purchase a Habitat home, you’ll have to attend classes and counseling sessions on homeownership and finance.
You’ll be taught tips on everything from credit repair to budgeting to estate planning, which can help build your financial future.
8. Habitat homeowners pay a mortgage.
The payment is usually quite affordable, as are any deposits when compared to local averages. Some Habitat offices have mortgage-burning ceremonies once a homeowner pays it off completely.
9. Habitat homes are cost-effective and efficient.
Sustainable building techniques are used to construct Habitat housing, and an emphasis is placed on energy efficiency. This can help homeowners save money on their monthly expenses.
10. Habitat for Humanity repairs homes too.
While some low-income families move into brand new homes built by Habitat volunteers and professionals, others turn to the program for improvements or repairs.
Depending on where you live, you could receive thousands of dollars to help make your home more accessible or safe. You could also get financial help with cosmetically improving the exterior of your home.