Frequently Asked Questions
What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the United States and in more than 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.
How does Habitat for Humanity help families?
People in your community and all over the world partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
How does Habitat for Humanity homeownership work?
Families in need of decent, affordable housing apply for homeownership with their local Habitat for Humanity.
Each local Habitat’s family selection committee selects homeowners based on three criteria:
- The applicant’s level of need,
- Their willingness to partner with Habitat,
- Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan,
Habitat’s homebuyers invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners, in addition to paying an affordable mortgage and receiving financial education.
Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowners.
Does Habitat for Humanity only build new houses?
Habitat for Humanity works in a number of different ways to create decent, affordable housing.
In addition to new construction, Habitat also renovates existing homes in many communities, particularly in urban areas.
Habitat for Humanity helps people repair and improve their own homes and neighborhoods.
Habitat’s Disaster Response works with local communities to address a variety of housing needs after natural disasters.
Habitat’s advocacy work raises awareness and support for decent and affordable housing around the world.
Outside of North America, Habitat works with partner organizations to serve even more families through innovative financing methods.
How do you volunteer for Habitat for Humanity?
There are many ways to volunteer:
- Volunteer locally
- Travel and build
- Volunteer long-term
- Volunteer as part of a group
- Volunteer as part of a special event
What kind of donations does Habitat for Humanity accept?
Habitat depends on financial donations to fund our work. These donations help families build a place they can call home. We also have the Cars for Home program, Giving Stocks, and various other donation programs.
We also have local home improvement stores called Habitat ReStores, which sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and appliances to the public. The money made from these sales is used to help families build a better future.
What is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore?
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build strength, stability and self-reliance locally and around the world.
Where does Habitat for Humanity operate?
Habitat for Humanity works in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries around the world. Our operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, and our administrative headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
How are donations distributed and used?
Habitat for Humanity relies on gifts from individuals, corporations and other groups to help families in need of decent and affordable homes around the world. All donations of any amount are deeply appreciated.
Designated donations are allocated in support of the U.S. affiliate, national organization or program of the donor’s choosing.
Undesignated gifts are invested through the Global Impact Fund where they can have the greatest impact.
Habitat’s Global Impact Fund helps:
- Design and replicate innovative programs to serve more low-income families.
- Build the capacity of our network of U.S. affiliates and national organizations.
- Cover other costs necessary to ensure that Habitat fulfills its mission with excellence.
How does Habitat for Humanity work with the government?
Habitat asks legislators and housing regulators to increase support for affordable homeownership and decent housing.
Habitat monitors public policies related to housing, community and international development.
Habitat advocates for policies that will increase access to decent, affordable housing available to people around the world.
Habitat accepts government funds as long as they have no conditions that would violate our principles or limit our ability to proclaim our Christian identity.
Is Habitat for Humanity a Christian organization?
Yes, we are a global non-profit Christian housing organization. All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion. We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.