Building a home with Habitat for Humanity is a partnership. Habitat makes a mortgage loan to the homeowners, but we’re not a typical mortgage lender. Our home loans are interest-free, and our homeowners pay only for the cost of construction since labor is donated by volunteers.
When a family or individual is selected to become a Habitat homeowner, a Family Partner is also selected to become a friend who will guide the family through the process of learning to build their house and then take care of it. The hours that the family spends building their house and helping other families build homes, is what we call “sweat equity.” Each adult family member is required to work at least 225 hours of sweat equity with Habitat. 50 of those hours need to be completed before work on the Habitat home begins.
We also ask Habitat families to participate in publicity. Because we rely heavily on donations to pay for building materials, our families play a vital role in telling the Habitat story to the community.
Being a partner also means being faithful in paying the mortgage payments every month. Without those payments from every family, Habitat won’t have enough money to build more houses for other families who need them. Homeowners are also required to make a $1,000 down payment on their home before signing the mortgage.
See if you meet the criteria for becoming a homeowner.
Also check out our frequently asked questions.
Many of our homeowners are referred to Habitat by the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority.The LDCHA has a ‘Homeownership Support Services Program,’ which is in place to encourage tenants to pursue homeownership and give them the support and education in how to accomplish this goal. The program includes a “matching-grant.” The grant will match up to $3,000 of a tenants savings that can go towards the down payment on a home.
Learn more about the program here.