Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.
Fact: Habitat offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30-50% of the area’s median income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make some sort of down payment. Additionally, they contribute 250-400 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction site of their home, someone else’s home, the Habitat office, or ReStore. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
Myth: Only African Americans get Habitat homes.
Fact: Habitat builds houses in partnership with those in need regardless of race, religion, or any other difference. Prospective homeowners must meet three criteria’s: need; ability to repay the mortgage; and willing to partner with Habitat.
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 median income in their community.
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 funds.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former President
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 8 miles from Americus), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization’s house building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.