What does Habitat for Humanity do?
Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota (HFHWCM) enables people and
families living in substandard housing situations to purchase a house.
Habitat partners only with families whose income falls within the guidelines and are able to make monthly house
payments, but do not qualify for a conventional mortgage. Through a
combination of material donations, volunteer labor, and family sweat equity,
partner families can afford buying a Habitat house at cost and at zero percent interest.
Where do the materials for the houses come from?
Habitat for Humanity has many national, regional, and local partnerships which
provide materials for our homes. National partnerships include Whirlpool
Corporation who donates a stove and refrigerator to every Habitat home in the
and Hunter Douglas who provides
privacy blinds. HFHWCM affiliate also utilizes regional and local partnerships.
Who builds the Habitat houses?
Habitat involves both our partner families and skilled volunteers to help build
the home. However, all homes must adhere to all state and local building codes and regulations. It
is common to have the construction donated. However, at times
work for electrical, plumbing, or heating, which is regulated, may
incur a cost.
How do I become a homeowner?
If you are interested in becoming a Habitat home owner in Chippewa, Kandiyohi,
Meeker, Renville or Swift Counties, please go to the Family Selection page and/or contact the Habitat office for more information.
How do I become a donor ?
There are many ways to donate to HFH WCM. Go to the Donate page for more information as to how you can contribute to this worthy cause.
How do I become a volunteer?
You may see what current opportunities are available at the Volunteer page. Or contact the Habitat office. We will discuss with you areas of volunteering
you are interested in and match you with volunteering opportunities of your
Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses to poor people.
Truth: Houses are
not given to anyone. Habitat for Humanity builds houses with people in
need and then sells the houses to homeowner partners through no-profit
loans. Because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage
payments can be kept reasonable to those unable to obtain conventional
financing. Habitat homeowners typically have incomes that are 30
percent to 50 percent of the median income in the area. They are
required to invest hundreds of hours in “sweat
equity”—that is, time spent building their own home or
other Habitat houses.
Myth: You have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
Humanity was founded as and unashamedly remains a Christian ministry.
However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, creed,
nationality, religious affiliation, gender, age, disability, familial
status, marital status, or receipt of public assistance —
following the requirements of the Equal Housing Opportunity law as well
Habitat’s belief that God’s love extends to all.
also welcomes volunteers from all faiths or no faith who
actively embrace the goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Myth: Habitat houses allow people to move from poverty to fancy new houses.
Truth: Any newly
built house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been
living in a shack, hut, or rundown apartment. Habitat for Humanity
International (HFHI) is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to
eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make
decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat
houses are not extravagant by any standard. Habitat’s philosophy
is to build simple, decent affordable houses. Under house design criteria approved
by Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors,
living space in a three bedroom house, for example, is not to exceed
1,056 square feet. The average cost in the this area of a
three-bedroom Habitat house, including land, is approximately $85,000.
Myth: Habitat houses lower neighborhood property values.
Truth: Many studies
of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect
on other neighborhood property values. Habitat firmly believes its
approach to affordable housing improves neighborhoods and communities
by strengthening community spirit and increasing the tax base while
building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in
Myth: Habitat homeowners sell their houses and make a large profit because of the original low cost.
second mortgages that are “paid off ” by living in the
house for a period of time, as well as first buyback with option
clauses, which many Habitat
affiliates put into their agreement with homeowners, alleviate the
opportunity for homeowners to sell their homes and earn a profit in the
first few years of owning the home.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.
for Humanity International is an independent, nonprofit Christian
housing ministry. It is not an arm of the government, nor an arm of any
particular church denomination. Habitat does accepts government funds
or services for “setting the stage” for house
building—land, streets, utilities and administrative services.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was started by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Truth: Habitat for
Humanity International was started in Americus, Ga., in 1976 by Millard
Fuller, along with his wife, Linda. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
and his wife, Rosalynn, are longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers
who help bring national and international attention to the
organization’s house-building work. They lead the annual Jimmy
Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the
need for affordable housing. Since the first work project in 1984, more
than 2,000 houses have been built in conjunction with JCWP events.
Myth: Poverty housing is such a large problem that it can never be solved.
housing is a huge issue. But, Habitat believes that by continuing to
build houses with people in need, by working with other committed
groups, and by putting the issue of poverty housing on the hearts and
minds of compassionate people everywhere, the problem can be solved.
Habitat’s 21st Century Housing Challenge calls communities
together to eliminate substandard housing in their area. Communities
are accepting that challenge to build with a definite plan and at a
rate that makes it possible to eliminate substandard housing. For example, in 2000,
New Horizons Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Ga., and other local
groups realized the goal of making affordable housing available for
every family in Sumter County, Ga., Habitat’s home county.