You’ve probably heard about Habitat for Humanity and know the gist of what it does, but how well do you really know it?
If you’re like most, you probably don’t know much about Habitat for Humanity beyond hearing their name in the news or commercials. In fact, you may think they just give away free homes to those in need on a random basis.
The truth is, Habitat for Humanity is a housing program that you could even qualify for. It’s not necessarily for the impoverished, nor do they give away “free” homes. To see what it takes to secure Habitat for Humanity housing, let’s discuss some of the basics.
What Habitat for Humanity Does
To understand what Habitat for Humanity housing was meant to do in a nutshell, look no further than this quote from their official website:
“Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.”
As you can see, they not only build new homes for families, but they also improve existing ones to make them more livable, safe, and efficient.
If you were to hire a real estate agent to show you homes, they would likely pick places that are too big and expensive for your budget. Habitat for Humanity, on the other hand, prefers to build homes that are small, easy to maintain, and that result in lower monthly utility bills.
In short, if you’d like to own a home but are scared of the costs, Habitat for Humanity housing could be right up your alley, as long as you’re eligible.
Eligibility Requirements for Habitat for Humanity Housing
Since Habitat for Humanity operates globally in over 70 countries and the entire United States, its eligibility requirements vary. Eligibility is determined on a local basis, but here are some of the basic requirements you could run into:
- You must be a legal resident.
- You must have decent credit.
- You must have a stable income.
If eligible for Habitat housing, you will not be gifted the home. You will be expected to pay a mortgage on it via monthly payments, and a small down payment will likely be necessary.
Your income cannot be too high or low to be eligible for a Habitat house. You can find out your local requirements by searching the Habitat for Humanity site.
Beyond making your mortgage payments on time, something else is required to own Habitat for Humanity housing: sweat equity.
You will be expected to build your home or someone else’s with volunteers. This requirement is a staple of the Habitat program, but if you are unable to perform physical labor, you can complete homeowner classes or volunteer in other ways.
No construction experience is required to build a Habitat home, but you will have to put in some time. In Los Angeles, California, for example, 200 hours of sweat equity are required.
While this may seem like a lot, you are getting the opportunity to own a home while helping others, which makes it all worth it.