Q: What is Habitat for Humanity?
A: Habitat for Humanity is an inclusive, non-profit, non-government organization seeking to create a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Habitat builds simple, affordable houses and sells them to families in need of adequate shelter. Through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity works with partner families to build or renovate simple, decent housing. Houses are sold to Partner Families at fair market value with no downpayment and are financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages. Homeowner families invest 500 hours of their own labour into building their own house and the houses of other families or other Habitat projects (ReStore).
Q: What is the History of Habitat for Humanity?
A: Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller and headquartered in Americus, Georgia. It was created with a vision for all people that is rooted in the Judeo-Christian faith, but is universal in its appeal and application. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, host annual work projects and are Habitat’s most famous volunteers. HFH International has built over 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFH Canada was founded in 1985 and has a National office in Waterloo, Ontario. There are 72 Habitat Affiliates across Canada, which have built more than 1000 homes since 1985. Today, Habitat for Humanity's efforts result in a family somewhere in the world receiving the key to their new Habitat home every 21 minutes.
Q: What criteria are used when selecting a family for family partnership?
A: Families apply to Habitat affiliates through an application process. The Family Selection Committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners with Habitat, and their ability to repay the loan. Every affiliate follows a non-discriminatory policy for family selection.
Need for affordable housing is defined by a family income that is within the recognized government-set low income guidelines for their particular region, and existing living conditions that are inadequate in terms of structure, cost, safety or size. The ratio of shelter expense to total income is also factored.
Ability to repay a Habitat mortgage requires that the family have a stable income sufficient to cover the monthly mortgage payments and other expenses that come with home ownership.
Homeowners must demonstrate a willingness to partner with Habitat by contributing a minimum of 500 hours of volunteer labour.
Q: How do the mortgages work and what do you do with the mortgage payments?
A: Habitat partner families make regular mortgage payments for their homes. Habitat does not charge interest on its mortgages, nor do they profit from them. The mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador and are reused to build more Habitat homes. Should a family wish to move, Habitat NL has first right of refusal to buy the home back.
Q: How is Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador funded?
A: Habitat NL receives support from and works in partnership with Provincial and Municipal Governments, faith groups, corporations, foundations, individual donors, and the revenue generated from the ReStore.
Q: Who manages Habitat NL?
A: A volunteer Board of Directors is responsible for governance, policy and oversight. Habitat NL’s daily operations are led by an Executive Director, supported by a small staff, and assisted by a core group of volunteers.
Q: Where is the ReStore located and what are its hours of operation?