Does Habitat for Humanity give homes away?
No. Habitat homes are purchased by families at-cost and at a zero percent interest mortgage. Families are responsible for a 1% down payment on their home, as well as completing 500 hours of sweat equity and attending financial and home maintenance classes. Similarly, for home repairs, families receive a zero percent interest loan and complete sweat equity hours that are based upon the scope of the project.
What is “sweat equity?”
Sweat equity is the process by which families help build their homes and communities. Each partner family is required to put in 500 hours toward the building of their homes and their neighbors’ homes and learn how to care for their homes. The sweat equity requirement cannot be excused, but alternative projects will be arranged for partners who are not able to participate on the build site due to health concerns.
Another important aspect of the sweat equity requirement is homeowner education. Partner families attend workshops on the subjects of financial literacy, budgeting and home maintenance so that they are prepared for the challenges that often arise with homeownership and are confident in their abilities to solve problems.
Who is eligible for a Habitat home?
Habitat homes are available to anyone who has a need for affordable, decent housing in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. We do not consider religion, age, gender, race or any other distinction that often divides people. Our staff will consider such things as income, current living conditions, and the ability to complete program requirements. The information found on our “Programs” pages will help you consider whether our homeownership program is right for you.
I’d love to volunteer, but I can’t even swing a hammer straight!
You don’t have to have construction experience to make a difference. Our trained construction crew will teach you skills on the work site. Or, if construction is not in your preference, we have many other ways to lend a hand, including volunteering at the Lancaster Habitat ReStore, helping out at the office or special events, and participating on committees. See our volunteer page for more information.
Can low income families really afford to own a home? Isn’t it a risky investment?
Lancaster Lebanon Habitat has a proven track record. Ninety-five percent of our homeowners live in their Habitat home and 67 percent have increased their income after purchase of their home. Through the education and counseling resources we offer, along with affordable housing prices, owning a home becomes a more sound investment. And with the stability that homeownership offers, individuals and families can make positive changes in their lives that were not possible before … increase their savings, further their education, send their children to college, to name a few.
Is Habitat available to provide emergency repairs – such as a broken water heater or repair of flood damage – through its A Brush with Kindness minor repair program?
Our repair program is for non-emergency, exterior repairs only. We offer such services as door/window replacement, exterior painting, landscaping and installation of wheelchair ramps.