Since its foundation in 1976, several myths about Habitat for Humanity have taken root, but here are some facts to commonly asked questions:
The Habitat Homeownership program is not for a free house, but for an affordable, interest-free mortgage. So our families do pay for their homes, and they also work hard for them by performing sweat equity. Learn more on our Apply page.
Numerous studies have shown that affordable housing has no adverse effects on a community’s property values. Habitat ensures that our homes are well-built and fit in to the rest of the neighborhood.
The only criteria for a Habitat house are ability to pay, need for housing, and willingness to partner. Palouse Habitat for Humanity is an Equal Opportunity Lender and a Fair Housing organization. We follow all Equal Opportunity Lending and Fair Housing laws, and we do not discriminate based on race, religion, nation of origin, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status or any other protected classes. All households, whether families with children, without children, or single individuals, are encouraged to apply. Our Family Selection Committee is prepared to work with households at various levels of preparedness for homeownership and we encourage any low-income household with the dream of ownership to apply.
All funds to build here in Latah and Whitman County are raised locally by Palouse Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity International provides no funding for local homebuilding.
Local Habitat affiliates are independent, nonprofit organizations that operate within a specific service area within the framework of the Habitat Affiliate Covenant. Each affiliate focuses its building, repair and fundraising efforts within their service area. Affiliates to tithe a percentage of donations to support the global housing efforts of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat International does share branding, marketing, and research with local affiliates to help them achieve their goals, but exercises no direct authority over local affiliates.
Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Ga., by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Ga.), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national and international attention to the organization’s house-building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.
All homes built by Habitat must not only meet or surpass every building code in the communities we build in, they must also match the size and quality of surrounding homes. We build quality, attractive, simple, modern homes. All homes must pass stringent inspections by city or county inspectors.
While the majority of work on the homes is done by volunteers, all volunteers are trained and supervised by a Habitat Construction Supervisor. In addition, plumbing, electrical, roofing, and other skilled work is done by licensed professionals. The results are homes that meet or exceed all codes and standards of the area.
The average cost of a Palouse Habitat for Humanity home is $525-550/month.
In addition, our future Habitat Homeowners save $1000 over the course of the home build to cover a portion of the closing costs. The rest of the closing costs are rolled into the mortgage, along with the first year of home owners insurance and property taxes, making entry into homeownership easy.
It takes a lot of hard work and commitment for families to buy a Habitat home. To begin the application process, families must demonstrate their ability to pay a mortgage and manage their finances. Once a family is accepted into the program, they contribute sweat equity hours and sometimes are asked to meet additional requirements such as attending homebuyer education or financial classes. These steps can take more than a year to complete depending on the family situation. Every day, Habitat homebuyers are working diligently to become homeowners.
Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s beliefs that God’s love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Making safe, stable, affordable housing available to everyone is a huge issue, but Habitat believes that by continuing to build more homes by partnering with other committed groups, developing new partnerships and innovative approaches, and by putting the issue of poverty housing in the hearts and minds of compassionate people everywhere, the problem can be solved.