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What is Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian
housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and
homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of
conscience and action.
Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build
houses together in partnership with families in need.
Collegiate Challenge volunteers trim vinyl
Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses around the
world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000
communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFHI was founded in
1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and
materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with
the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold
to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans.
The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and
the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of
their own labor — sweat equity — into building their Habitat house and
the houses of others.
What does a Habitat house cost?
Throughout the world, the cost of houses varies from as
little as $800 in some developing countries to an average of nearly
$60,000 in the United States.
Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is
no profit included in the sale price. Mortgage length varies from seven
to 30 years.
What are Habitat affiliates?
Habitat for Humanity’s work is accomplished at the
community level by affiliates — independent, locally run, nonprofit
organizations. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home
building in its local area — fund raising, building site selection,
partner family selection and support, house construction, and mortgage
Habitat for Humanity International’s operational headquarters, located
in Americus, Georgia, USA, and its administrative headquarters, located
in Atlanta, Georgia, provide information, training and a variety of
other support services to Habitat affiliates worldwide.
All Habitat affiliates are asked to “tithe” — to give 10 percent of
their contributions to fund house-building work in other nations.
Tithing provides much-needed funds for international building, and it
also gives affiliates the opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of
Christian partnership. In 2001, U.S. affiliates tithed $9.04 million to
support Habitat’s work overseas. Some affiliates in developing
countries also receive funding grants from Habitat for Humanity
Where does Habitat for Humanity operate?
Habitat is a worldwide, grassroots movement. Habitat has
a presence in more than 90 countries, including all 50 states of the
United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Use our affiliate search to find Habitat affiliates in your area.
See our Habitat
Affiliates Worldwide section for
information on each country in which Habitat is at work, including
progress reports, project descriptions and affordable housing needs.
How are the partner families selected?
Families in need of decent shelter apply to local
Habitat affiliates. The affiliate’s family selection committee chooses
homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become
partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan. Every
affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection.
Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who
receive Habitat houses.
If your family, or a family you know, is in need of decent, affordable
housing, contact the Habitat affiliate nearest you. If you’re not sure
where a local Habitat affiliate might be, use our search engine to find the names and phone numbers of affiliates in your
area, or contact the Habitat Help Line at (800) 422-4828, Ext. 2551 or
2552. Your local affiliate can give you information on the
availability, size, costs and sweat-equity requirements for Habitat
houses in your area, as well as information on the application process.
How are donations distributed and used?
Donations, whether to a local Habitat affiliate or to
HFHI, are used as designated by the donor. Gifts received by HFHI that
are designated to a specific affiliate or building project are
forwarded to that affiliate or project. Undesignated gifts are used
where most needed and for administrative expenses. HFHI’s most recent
audited financial statement is
Who controls and manages Habitat for Humanity
An ecumenical, international board of directors
determines policy and oversees and guides the mission of Habitat for
Humanity International. Board members are dedicated volunteers who are
deeply concerned about the problems of poverty housing around the world.
The HFHI headquarters office operates with an administrative staff,
assisted by a core group of professional and support employees and
supplemented by volunteers. Each Habitat for Humanity affiliate is
managed by its own local volunteer board.
How does Habitat work with the government?
Habitat for Humanity International welcomes partnerships
with governments that include accepting funds and other resources to
help provide houses for God’s children in need, provided these
partnerships do not limit our ability to demonstrate the love and
teachings of Jesus Christ, and further provided that affiliates do not
become dependent on or controlled by government funds or other funding
sources. Local Habitat for Humanity affiliates or Habitat for Humanity
International may adopt more specific guidelines as deemed necessary to
avoid such dependence or control.
How does a Habitat for Humanity affiliate get started?
Habitat affiliates start when concerned citizens of
diverse backgrounds come together to address the problem of poverty
housing in their community. These volunteers research the community’s
affordable housing needs and resources, and evaluate the potential
success of Habitat’s self-help model in their community. The group then
applies to HFHI to become an official Habitat affiliate.
If you are interested in eliminating poverty housing in your community,
please contact HFHI headquarters for information on establishing a
Habitat affiliate. Persons calling from inside the United States can
call (800) HABITAT or (800) 422-4828. Those calling from outside the
United States may contact HFHI headquarters at 01-229-924-6935.
How can I become a volunteer?
To volunteer where you live, use our affiliate search engine to find contact information for your local affiliate. Other
opportunities to support Habitat’s work also are available — see our get involved section.
How can I get more information?
For additional information, see the other sections of
this Web site, see our contact information page, or
write or phone our international headquarters:
Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat Street
Americus, GA 31709-3498
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2008
Gulf Coast -- May 11-16, 2008
Carter Project: On to the Gulf Coast
Preparations are under way for 25th annual work week.
Ground is being broken, foundations are being poured and floor systems
are being installed. These and myriad of other preparations are under
way throughout the Gulf Coast as the date draws nearer for the Jimmy
and Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2008.
Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, headquartered in
Biloxi, is the host affiliate for the 2008 Carter Project.
During the weeklong event, May 11-16, Carter Project volunteers will
build 10 new houses in Biloxi and another 20 in nearby Pascagoula.
Also, 30 other homes will be repaired or rehabbed in Gulfport, Miss.,
and 48 new house frames will be built in a “Framing Frenzy” for use by
the affiliate later this year.
The new homes built in Pascagoula, all elevated to meet the area’s new
flood guidelines, will be in-fill housing spread across eight blocks.
In Biloxi, the new homes are being planned for a small neighborhood
near The Salvation Army’s Yankie Stadium, the site of opening and
closing ceremonies and the Framing Frenzy.
Though it’s been two and-a-half years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita
cut a path of destruction across the U.S. Gulf Coast, the region is
still suffering. Families have been displaced, jobs have been lost and
the rebuilding, though steady, is far from done.
“Many people don’t realize or remember the utter devastation that
Katrina brought to the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Chris Monforton,
CEO of Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “Biloxi,
Pascagoula and Gulfport were hit extremely hard, yet seem to have been
largely forgotten by the public and the media.”
And that’s the very reason why former President Jimmy Carter and his
wife, Rosalynn, selected the Gulf Coast as the site for this year’s
project, renamed for 2008 to reflect the dedication and contributions
of the former First Lady. The event will help draw attention back to
the Gulf , celebrate the 1,300 Habitat homes built so far in the
hurricane recovery effort, and recognize President and Mrs. Carter for
their 25 years of dedicated service to Habitat for Humanity.
“Rosalynn and I look forward to creating not only new houses, but new
awareness about the dire need for affordable housing in the Gulf,” said
“I think the Carter Project will send a message that these communities
and others along the Gulf Coast have not been forgotten, the need is
still great and that hope for a new beginning is still alive,”
As part of the project’s focus on the entire region, Gulf-area
affiliates from New Orleans, Covington, Slidell, Lafayette, Baton
Rouge, Lake Charles and Thibodaux will join the project as
participating affiliates in Louisiana. In Mississippi, affiliates
located in Bay St. Louis, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian and Pearl
River and George Counties will build homes for the project. Affiliates
in Mobile, Ala., and Beaumont and Houston, Texas are also part of the
At the host site alone, this year’s Carter Project is expected to draw
more than 1,700 volunteers from across the country and around the
world. The AmeriCorps program, a longtime partner of Habitat, plans to
send up to 500 of its members to work on the project.
For information on volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, call
Faces and Places -
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A New Lease on Life
Your Environment Is Who You Are
From Tragedy Springs Hope
The Healing of a Family
The Oak Tree: A Solid Metaphor for Homeownership
Family Finds “Guiding Light” in Decent Housing
Habitat House Holds Intangible Values for Bolivian Family
The Restoration Of The Family
Home, Strong Home
Better House, Better Health
Impacting the Next Generation
An investment in families
At last, a home in Houston