Myths & Facts

Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.

Fact: Habitat for Humanity offers affordable homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those who's income is 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. Habitat homeowner families pay $2,500 in closing costs, each adult in the household contributes hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” during the construction of their own home or homes of others.

 

Myth: Habitat houses reduce a neighborhood’s property values.

Fact: Housing studies show affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have proven to increase property values and local government tax income.

 

Myth: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.

Fact: While some Habitat homeowners receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children, many more are working people. Typically their annual income is less than half the local area median income in their community.

 

Myth: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.

Fact: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion, gender, age, or ethnicity in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s abiding belief 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.

 

Myth: Habitat for Humanity International dictates policy and practices for every local Habitat organization.

Fact: Local Habitat Affiliates like ours are independent, nonprofit organizations that operate within a specific service area within the framework of the Habitat Affiliate Covenant.

 

Myth: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.

Fact: Habitat for Humanity is not an arm of the government. Habitat is an independent, nonprofit organization that accepts some government funds and other resources to help provide houses for those in need. We accept these funds as long as they do not limit our ability to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. Additionally, our local affiliates insert specific guidelines as needed to avoid becoming dependent on or controlled by government funders.

 

Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

Fact: President Carter is actually our most famous volunteer, not our founder. Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Georgia), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization’s work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

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