MYTH: Habitat for Humanity gives houses to poor or homeless people.
FACT: Houses are not given to anyone. Habitat sells houses to homeowner partners through zero-interest loans. Homeowners make mortgage payments each month that doesn’t exceed 30% of their monthly income. Habitat homeowners usually have incomes that are 30 to 60 percent of the median income here in Lawrence. Each adult living in the house must put in 225 hours of sweat equity.
MYTH: Habitat only builds homes for minorities.
FACT: We build houses with people in need, without regard to race. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, national origin, family status or marital status, or because all or part of income is derived from any public assistance program.
MYTH: Habitat only builds homes for families or individuals with children.
FACT: We build houses for individuals, single parent households, two parent households, retirees, and veterans.
MYTH: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
FACT: While some homeowners do receive public assistance, most work at low-wage jobs. Owning a home can often be the first step toward helping people break out of the cycle of poverty.
MYTH: You have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
FACT: We are a Christian ministry, but Habitat believes that God’s love extends to all.
MYTH: Habitat houses lower neighborhood property values.
FACT: Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. Habitat’s approach strengthens community spirit, increases the tax base and builds better citizens. Many people who live near Habitat homes say the homeowners are good neighbors.
MYTH: Habitat for Humanity was started by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
FACT: Habitat for Humanity International was started in Americus, Ga., by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda in 1976. Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, are longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers. They lead an annual work project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.
MYTH: Poverty housing is such a large problem that it can never be solved.
FACT: Poverty housing is a huge issue. But, Habitat believes by building homes with people in need, working with committed groups and putting the issues on the hearts and minds of compassionate people, the problem can be solved.