Myths (and Facts) About Habitat for Humanity
Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.
FACT: Habitat for Humanity offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30-75% of the area’s median income. Prospective Habitat homeowner families make a $600 down payment. Additionally, they contribute 300 hours of sweat equity on the construction of their home or someone else’s home. Because habitat house are built using donations of land and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
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: Only African Americans get Habitat for Humanity homes.
FACT: Habitat builds houses in partnership with those in need regardless of race, religion or any other difference. Prospective homeowners must meet four criteria: need; ability to repay the mortgage; a willingness to partner with Habitat; and have been a resident of Etowah County for a least one year.
Myth: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
FACT: While some Habitat homeowners receive aid, many more are working people. Typically, their annual income is less than half the local median income in the community.
Myth: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
FACT: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group 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 is an arm of the government
FACT: HFH 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 no limit our ability to demonstrate the love and teaching of Jesus Christ.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
FACT: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, GA by the late Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda. President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, GA) have been long-time Habitat volunteers.