Learn all about Habitat in the words of our President/CEO, Dave Graves and our Director of Homeownership, Julie Walsh-Destrampe
Q: What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat Monroe is one of over 1,400 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a witness to Christian concern for the housing needs of people all over the world. Each affiliate raises funds, buys building materials, and uses volunteer labor to construct homes. The finished homes are then sold to families in need of decent housing. In this way, Habitat forms a partnership between people with resources and those who are less fortunate. Habitat is not a “give – away” program. It provides an opportunity for people from many walks of life to take a hammer in their hands and work together to provide simple, decent, affordable homes in our community.
Q: What kind of homes does Habitat build?
Habitat’s aim is to provide simple, decent, affordable homes and the basic needs for a family to live. The design of the house and the workmanship put into it is aimed at building a home which is trouble free and requires little cost to maintain. We seek to locate Habitat homes in neighborhoods where families have access to schools, public transportation, and other necessities and can participate in neighborhood activities. Habitat Monroe builds 5 Star Energy Efficient Homes; this also helps the homeowners save money on utility bills.
Q: How are homes priced and sold?
Habitat homes are built and sold at no profit, with an affordable mortgage. As payments are received, they are used to further the Habitat mission and build other Habitat homes. Monthly payments are determined by family income, and do not exceed 30% of a family’s monthly income.
Q: Who provides construction management and skilled labor?
Our construction directors, along with our construction assistants, are responsible for project planning, development, and construction. All local building codes and permit requirements are met. On-site supervision is provided by construction assistants that are staff of Habitat Monroe as well as volunteer “crew leaders”. Licensed trade work is performed or supervised by professionals.
Q: How does Habitat raise money?
Habitat Monroe is a grassroots organization. Money is raised locally by individual contributions, churches, foundations, corporations, civic groups, etc. Habitat also applies for grants from foundations, funding institutions, and agencies.
Q: What happens is a homeowner falls behind on their payments?
Habitat offers an opportunity to own a home for monthly payments which are generally less than the amount they pay for substandard housing. If for some reason a crisis prevents a homeowner from meeting a house payment, Habitat will review circumstances with them and help them work out their financial crisis by helping them develop a budget. If a homeowner is incapable of the responsibility of keeping up mortgage payments, Habitat retains the right to repossess the house and sell it to another qualified applicant. Because of the care taken in the selection process and the partnership developed with applicants, Habitat has little problem with defaults on mortgages.