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, but who are able to repay an affordable mortgage. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30-80% of the area’s median income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families pay closing costs. Additionally, they contribute 250-400 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction or rehabilitatio 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: Habitat homeowners are on government assistance.
Fact: While some Habitat homeowners receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children or may be disabled, many more are working people. Typically their annual income is less than 80% 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 (between 3-11% of our total budget) 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 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 8 miles from Americus), have been Habitat supporters and volunteers since 1984 who have brought 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.