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People ask many good questions about the Habitat, and we think the answers are worth sharing. Below are some frequently asked questions, and if you have your own, be sure to contact us.
Q: Doesn’t Habitat just give homes to poor people?
A: No! A Habitat home is NOT a giveaway; homeowners help build it – working 300-500 hours – plus must be able to pay a monthly mortgage.
Q: What’s the average house payment? What about insurance and taxes?
A: Mortgage payments are usually about $600 per month including insurance and taxes.
Q: What’s the short version of how Habitat works?
A: Through different kinds of support from individuals, corporations, contractors, public entities, and many others, Habitat is able to reduce or eliminate some of the traditional barriers working people face as they try to buy a home. All kinds of different people apply and are encouraged to apply for home ownership – from big and small families to disabled persons and senior citizens. They are usually folks who make 50%-60% of the median income and who seek stability and a decent, safe place to live.
Q: Does Habitat help people financially?
A: Other than the low-interest mortgage – no. However, Habitat requires its homeowner partners to take a financial management class so they are better prepared to budget. Habitat homeowners also take a course in maintenance to be even more self sufficient and empowered in their new home.
Q: Where does Habitat get its funding?
A: People just like you! Donors give all kinds of gifts including cash, materials, their time…enabling Habitat to build more and more homes.
Q: Aren’t the Habitat homes made of cheap materials that will blight my neighborhood?
A: No! Habitat is a professional building organization that uses quality materials and licensed contractors for skilled components; it also employs a paid construction supervisor and complies with all code and inspection regulations. Housing studies have shown that the affordable housing has no effect on property values.
Q: How come Habitat doesn’t take vacant houses and turn them into Habitat homes?
A: A great question! Habitat affiliates across the nation, including ours, are participating in the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative - rehabilitating and reselling existing homes using the same proven Habitat model. St. Croix Valley Habitat also partners with local agencies on their building projects, and works to ensure that all people have access to affordable housing.
Q: How does Habitat acquire the land on which it builds?
A: While it is not unheard of for Habitat to buy land, it is unusual, most of the home sites are donated. For more information about the benefits of donating land, visit the Donate page.
Q: Does Habitat use environmentally safe building practices.?
A: Yes; the homes feature energy-saving appliances, weatherized windows, insulated foundation forms and other features. Visit our newest, energy efficient and sustainably built Eco Village page.
Q: Didn’t President Jimmy Carter establish Habitat?
A: While he helped it to really soar, no – Millard and Linda Fuller started Habitat in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, President Carter’s home state.
Learn more about this branch of Habitat for Humanity's History