Top 10 FAQ's About Habitat for Humanity


How did Habitat for Humanity get started?

The idea that became Habitat for Humanityfirst grew from a community farm in Georgia, founded by Clarence Jordan. On the farm, Jordan and Habitat’s eventual founders Millard and Linda Fuller (pictured above) developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses at no profit. New homeowners’ house payments would be combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fundraising to create “The Fund for Humanity,” which would then be used to build more homes. Beau and Emma were the owners of the first home built by Koinonia’s Partnership Housing Program.

What exactly does Habitat for Humanity do?

Habitat for Humanity works with a wide range of partners to provide safe, affordable housing for families in need all over the world. You might say it takes a village to build a house; contractors, lenders, volunteers, community advocates and many others are involved in the process from start to finish. Habitat for Humanity coordinates all of these efforts to ensure that homeowners are prepared with the skills necessary to maintain their new house.

Are Habitat for Humanity houses given away for free?

No. In addition to paying a low-cost mortgage, Habitat’s homeowners also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection, and neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowner families. Partner families are always selected based on their level of need, ability to pay and willingness to partner. Habitat Homeowners also attend classes on principles of homeownership, like basic finance and home maintenance.

Who is eligible for help from Habitat for Humanity?

Families in need of decent, affordable housing apply for homeownership with their local Habitat for Humanity. Each local Habitat’s family selection committee selects homeowners based on the applicant’s level of need, their willingness to partner with Habitat, and their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan. To apply for help from Habitat for Humanity please visit today.

Does Habitat for Humanity only build new houses?

Habitat for Humanity works in a number of different ways to create decent, affordable housing.

  • In addition to new construction, Habitat also renovates existing homes in many communities, particularly in urban areas.
  • Habitat for Humanity helps people repair and improve their own homes and neighborhoods.
  • Habitat’s Disaster Response works with local communities to address a variety of housing needs after natural disasters.
  • Habitat’s advocacy work raises awareness and support for decent and affordable housing around the world.
  • Outside of North America, Habitat works with partner organizations to serve even more families through innovative financing methods.

Is Habitat for Humanity a religious organization?

Yes, Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. They have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion and welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.

Does Habitat for Humanity serve my community?

Habitat for Humanity operates in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world, and their headquarters are located in Georgia. Valu Home Centers proudly supports 15 different Habitat for Humanity affiliates so that all donors give where they live. Find a local Habitat near you.

How can I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity?

There are many ways to get involved with Habitat for Humanity and help further their mission of safe, decent housing for all. Volunteering with your local Habitat Affiliate (Buffalo | Central NY | Erie) is just one great way to participate. You don’t need to have any previous construction experience, but if you do, please put your skills to work! From simple tasks like caulking and painting, to bigger projects like HVAC and electrical work, volunteers complete a vast majority of the building process for Habitat homes. Habitat for Humanity also needs volunteers for administrative tasks like family counseling, book keeping, volunteer coordinating, and beyond. Give your local Habitat Affiliate a call today to learn more and see what services they need most!

Does Habitat for Humanity accept donations?

Habitat for Humanity relies on gifts from individuals, corporations and other groups to fund their house-building mission worldwide. All donations of any amount are deeply appreciated and help them build more decent, affordable houses with more families across the globe. Those gifts include donations of: monetary funds, stocks and bonds, honorary donations, workplace gift matching programs, vehicles, construction materials, and housewares.

What is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore?

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community and hope locally and around the world. Click here to find a ReStore near you.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity, or to apply for help,

please visit today!