How Does Habitat work?[+]
Fox Cities Habitat partners with qualified families to create safe, decent and affordable housing. These families take financial literacy and homeownership courses and contribute 300-500 hours of sweat equity hours toward the construction of their home and the homes of other Habitat families. They pay a down payment as well as monthly mortgage payments on a 15-30 year 0% interest mortgage held by the affiliate. Homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments create a revolving “Fund for Humanity” that is used to construct and rehab other homes.
When was Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity started?[+]
Fox Cities Habitat started serving families through new home construction in 1993. Since then, the organization has grown to support a Habitat for Humanity ReStore retail outlet, an Almost Home program, home rehab, home repair and most recently, Neighborhood Revitalization and Rock the Block® events.
Locally, a professional staff manages the general programs with assistance from a Board of Directors and committees made up of men and women in the Fox Cities who volunteer their time to Habitat.
Are contributions to Habitat tax-deductible?[+]
Yes. Habitat is incorporated as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization 501(c)(3).
How are families selected?[+]
Qualifying applicants must be legal residents of the United States, living and working in the Fox Cities for at least one year prior to application, and be living in inadequate conditions. A volunteer family selection committee reviews all applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process, based on housing need, ability to repay the loan and the ability to partner with Habitat by working sweat equity hours.
How can I help Habitat?[+]
You can help by volunteering at Habitat’s construction sites; serving on committees; teaching classes for partner families; making a donation of land, materials, or money; working in the Habitat ReStore; or simply by spreading the word. Your involvement makes a difference! Check out the opportunities available to you on our Volunteer page.
Does a Habitat house lower neighborhood property values?[+]
Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. Habitat’s approach to affordable housing improves neighborhoods and communities by strengthening community spirit and increasing the tax base while building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat programs.
Can Habitat homeowners sell their houses and make a large profit because of the original low cost?[+]
Habitat negotiates a second mortgage with the homeowner to secure its equity (the fair market value of donated goods and services) in the home. This second mortgage is paid off over time simply by the family living in the home. If a family wishes to sell a home before their mortgage is paid, the second mortgage would also have to be paid by the homeowner.
Does Habitat only build for minorities?[+]
Habitat doesn’t build houses for anyone. We build houses with people in need, without regard to race. The U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale of housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status or national origin. The covenant that all local Habitat affiliates sign with Habitat for Humanity International also specifies that Habitat homeowner families are selected “according to criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed or ethnic background.”
Do you have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner?[+]
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian ministry. However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, creed or nationality-following the requirements of the law as well as Habitat’s belief that God’s love extends to all. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths or no faith who actively embrace the goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Habitat’s Non-Proselytizing Policy- Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.
Are Habitat homes fancy new houses?[+]
Any newly built or renovated house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been living in substandard housing however Habitat houses are not extravagant by any standard. Habitat’s philosophy is to build simple, decent and affordable houses.
Is Habitat for Humanity an arm of the government?[+]
No, Habitat for Humanity is an independent, nonprofit, Christian housing ministry. It is not an arm of the government, nor an arm of any particular church denomination. Habitat does accept government funds for infrastructure, utilities, capacity building or training, and house building.
Are Habitat homeowners on welfare?[+]
While some Habitat homeowners do receive public assistance, most work lower income jobs. Habitat works in good faith with people who often are at risk in society, knowing that owning a home is not the answer to every problem, but that it can be an important step-often the first step- toward helping people break out of the cycle of poverty.
Since our foundation in 1993, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity has served over 700 families and counting in the Fox Cities.
Our mission is straightforward and to the point: to make simple, decent and affordable housing available to those who need it the most. This belief is what drives us in our work with Habitat for Humanity- when families have decent housing they can afford, many of life’s other challenges become more manageable.
Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy: Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.