Becoming a Habitat Home Owner
Qualified families who are selected to become Habitat home owners are called “partner families” because they become partners with Habitat in building their home and in supporting the Habitat mission.
- How does Habitat For Humanity work?
- Who qualifies to purchase a Habitat home and become a Partner Family?
- What are the requirements of a family once their application is accepted?
- Homebuilder classes
- When, Where, and How are applications taken?
- Where do we build?
To answer the question, first consider our mission statement: “Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities works in partnership with God and people from all walks of life to build simple, decent, affordable housing and improve our community so people can live as God intended.” Habitat helps families in need by: selling them a house which meets the needs of their family pricing the house to cover the cost of construction with no profit added providing the family with financing (a 0% mortgage) held by Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities providing an opportunity for families to meet and interact with people in our community that they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.
WHO QUALIFIES TO PURCHASE A HABITAT HOME AND BECOME A PARTNER FAMILY?
To be eligible to apply, a family must demonstrate that they have: a critical housing need (housing they live in is either in poor repair, too small for their family or beyond their financial means) a steady income and the ability to make regular monthly mortgage payments, and willingness to participate in Habitat’s building and community outreach activities, including earning the required “sweat equity”. If a family meets these criteria, and if Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities is currently recruiting partner families, the family is eligible to apply. Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities accepts applications once each year.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF A FAMILY ONCE THEIR APPLICATION IS ACCEPTED? Habitat World, a publication of Habitat for Humanity International explains one of our key concepts as follows: “Sweat equity” is Habitat’s name for the labor that Habitat homeowners expend in building their houses and the houses of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own self-improvement. For years sweat equity has been a keystone of the Habitat program; important to partner families, attractive to donors, and adopted by many other housing organizations. Sweat equity and partnership are among Habitat’s enduring concepts, growing out of the ministries of Koinonia Farm, taproot of Habitat for Humanity International. As future homeowners work their sweat equity beside volunteers who help build their houses, they gain dignity, self-worth and a sense of community. The process reinforces the words of Koinonia leader Clarence Jordan that the poor need “co-workers not caseworkers, capital not charity. – Habitat World, September 2001 Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities requires the following from its Partner Families: 500 hours Sweat Equity per family (with a maximum of 250 per adult in the household); Half the Sweat Equity must be completed before the breaking ground on the family’s home; 75 hours (per adult) must be completed before a family can select the location of their home; Adults in the household must attend a series of home ownership classes covering various topics, such as conflict resolution, budgeting and financial planning, and home maintenance.
HOMEBUILDER CLASSES HFHQC is committed to encouraging successful, long-term homeownership. We could simply build the houses and turn them over to the new homeowner, but both the staff and Board of Directors believe that Habitat is about more than building houses -it is about building community. Homebuilder classes provide the opportunity to learn new skills and gain sweat equity hours. Through these classes Habitat staff and volunteers come together with future Habitat homeowners and, over a period of time, create bonds, forge new friendships and build community. Partner families see their lives transformed in the process of building their home and the homes of other Habitat for Humanity families. The homebuilder classes give them the tools to be successful, long-term homeowners and contributing members of our community. Call the office at 563-359-9066 for information on the next scheduled homebuilder classes.
WHEN ARE APPLICATIONS TAKEN? Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities hosts an informational meeting once each year. The meeting is scheduled for three hours – the first part of the meeting is a presentation about Habitat for Humanity to let everyone know what the organization is all about, what the guidelines are for income given the number of people in the family, how the application process works, and what will be required of applicants, if accepted. The second part of the meeting is for filling out the application and making copies of the required documentation. Habitat’s Family Selection committee members are available at the meeting to answer any questions applicants may have. Please call the office for informational meeting schedules.
WHERE DO WE BUILD? Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities builds new houses on empty lots typically located in Davenport, Rock Island, East Moline, and Moline. Most of the lots HFHQC builds on are made available by the city the land is located in – often a house in a state of extreme disrepair and the lot it stands on are acquired by the city for lack of payment. In such cases the city may demolish the house and give the empty lot to Habitat. In other cases, lots are donated by private individuals, and occasionally purchased by Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities.