A Hand Up, Not A Handout
Habitat is not a giveaway program. It is a joint venture between community and homeowner. Houses are sold to families with mortgages for 20 years. Each homeowner pays a no-interest monthly mortgage payment to Habitat, and those funds are put back into a Fund for Humanity that supports the construction of more houses.
Each homeowner family is required to invest 350-500 sweat equity hours into the construction of their own house and other Habitat projects. This reduces the cost of the houses and increases the pride of ownership among family members.
To qualify for a Habitat house, a family must not be able to obtain a regular bank mortgage. They must have a stable income enabling them to pay for their new house. A family selection committee qualifies homeowners based on their need for adequate shelter, their willingness to become partners and invest in the sweat equity, and their ability to pay for the house through the mortgage.