Everyone should have
a safe, affordable home.
We strive to assist families below 60-80% of the area median
income afford their own home. Affordable costs of housing are
a priority at Habitat. We provide mortgages at no more than
30-40% of the family’s monthly income with zero to low interest
rates. Our partner families work very hard during the construction
process through Sweat Equity. Requirements for Sweat Equity
hours range from 250-450 hours based on the number of adults
within the household. We also provide homeowner education
which teaches accountability, financial well-being, and a sense
of community which counts toward Sweat Equity hours.
Family selection is based
three main criteria:
• Level of Need
• Willingness to Partner
• Ability to Pay
What is Sweat Equity?
Sweat equity is a term used often when talking about the creation
or building process. It’s about doing the work — the hard work —
to bring an idea to life. That work becomes an investment in the
project. It can be an investment as real as money or land.
At Habitat for Humanity, sweat equity is a new homeowner
investing in their home or one for another family. It’s not a form
of payment, but an opportunity to work alongside volunteers who
give their time to bring to life a family’s dream of owning a home.
Sweat equity can take many forms for partner families working
with Habitat. It can mean construction work on their home or on
a home for another family, cleaning up the build site, working in
a Habitat ReStore, assisting in administrative duties, or countless
other ways of helping out.
Homeowner classes — learning how to manage a home or finances — also count as sweat equity. Families invest their time in the long-term success of their homeownership. Throughout the process of purchasing their home, Habitat partner families can earn sweat equity credit as they learn about their mortgage, insurance, maintenance, safety and more.
That co-worker approach informs Habitat’s emphasis on sweat equity: all of us working together so that homeowners can achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families.
— David Rubel,
If I Had A Hammer: Building Homes and Hope with Habitat for Humanity (2009)
Habitat affiliates require only a small down payment because few low-income families can afford more than that. Instead, partner families are required to contribute sweat equity.