1. What is Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the world and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
2. When was Watauga Habitat started?
The Watauga County Habitat affiliate began in 1987 and has now completed 26 homes.
3. How does one qualify for a Habitat home?
There are three criteria every Habitat partner family must meet to qualify:
- Need: Applicants must be in need due to:
(a) Overcrowded or substandard conditions,
(b) Unreasonable housing costs in relation to gross income,
(c) Physical need requirements,
(d) Unable to get a conventional loan.
- Ability to pay: The families we serve are those with an annual income between 30% and 60% of the Watauga County median income. They also must demonstrate the ability to make monthly mortgage payments on a no-interest home loan.
- Willingness to partner: Upon approval, applicants must work between 250 and 500 hours of “sweat equity.” This commitment to becoming a partner with Habitat involves helping volunteers build their house, and training to be a great homeowner and good neighbor in the community.
4. How much do Habitat homes cost?
The average Habitat home in Watauga County costs $100,000.
5. How is a Habitat home built and who pays for construction?
Our funding comes from a variety of sponsors- churches, corporations, existing homeowners, foundations, civic groups, and individuals. The sponsorship rate for an entire house is $100,000. Habitat only uses government funds for land purchase and site development, if at all. Volunteers and future homeowners build the homes.
6. Do homeowners pay for their houses?
Homeowners pay for the house by making monthly payments on a 0% interest mortgage, typically for 20 years. The average payment is $350 a month, plus escrows that cover taxes and insurance.
7. Is Habitat a Christian organization?
Habitat was founded as and remains a Christian ministry. Many of our staff, donors, volunteers and homeowners are Christians; however, we welcome and partner with many diverse organizations and people.
Families are selected based on need for housing, ability to pay and willingness to partner. Religious conviction and practice is not a requirement in any way for home ownership.
8. Habitat – Isn’t that the organization that Jimmy Carter started?
A wealthy businessman, Millard Fuller, conceived the concept of Habitat in the early seventies. He sold all his wealth and dedicated himself to pursuing the dream of eliminating poverty housing.
Former President Carter and his wife Rosalyn are incredibly supportive of Habitat’s work and each year labor at the “Jimmy Carter Work Camp” building event either nationally or internationally. President Carter’s association has helped to give Habitat a greater presence and more visibility in the national and international media.
9. I don’t have any construction experience. Can Habitat still use me as a volunteer?
Volunteers need only a willingness to learn skills, a desire to interact with all types of people, and a good attitude. Construction is a very labor-intensive activity in which volunteers carry much of the load. Volunteers are also needed for office work, special events, and at the Habitat ReStore. Learn more about volunteering.
10. What should I bring to the work site?
Volunteers should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, and close-toed shoes are required. Bring a lunch and something to drink. You will also need to complete a volunteer waiver form.