- Does Habitat give houses away?
Habitat houses are not donated or “given” away. Habitat for Humanity builds houses for those in need and then sells the houses to homeowner partners. Because of Habitat's no-profit, no-interest loans, and because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage payments are affordable for those unable to obtain a home through conventional financing.
- Who does Habitat serve?
Habitat Greater Orlando serves the low and very low income families and individuals in Greater Orlando. Habitat for Humanity works in good faith with people who often are at risk in society, understanding that owning a home is not the answer to every problem. However, it can be an important step – often the first step – toward helping people break the poverty cycle.
Partner families are required to invest an average 300-500 hours of “sweat equity” – time spent building their own home or other Habitat homes. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
- Do Habitat houses reduce property values in a neighborhood?
Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat for Humanity believes its approach to affordable housing can improve neighborhoods and communities by strengthening community spirit, increasing the tax base, and building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat construction.
- How does your credit score affect the application process?
While credit history is important, but each case is reviewed on an individual basis. We have a partnership with Clearpoint credit counseling and Operation Hope so that if an applicant has credit issues they can help to resolve them.
- Is there a waiting list to get a home?
Habitat does not have a waiting list. Homeowners must first complete their sweat equity hours (which can take up to a year or more), after which they are matched with a home. Habitat Greater Orlando has a number of home sites in its land inventory, and the pace of construction is determined by fund-raising and other factors. We attempt to build 20 homes or more each year.
- Do you only accept families?
Habitat for Humanity accepts applications for single adults and families of any size or makeup.
- Can Habitat homeowners choose the home they want to live in?
Homeowners are allowed to select from different sites or units that Habitat is currently building.
- Do Habitat homeowners have to be pre-approved by a financial institution?
Habitat homeowners do not get approved by a financial institution. Habitat’s in-house Family Selection Committee completes all approvals.
- Are Habitat homeowners allowed to sell their home?
Habitat partner families can sell their home at any time. However, if families used the Down Payment Assistance Program to buy their home, that program has a stipulation stating that if you stay in the home for 10 years (City) or 20 years (County), then the amount of $20,000 – $35,000 you received to purchase the home will be forgiven. If the home is sold before that time, families must pay back the funds in full.
- Can Habitat help fix homeowners’ existing homes with volunteer workers?
Habitat does not participate in a housing repair program and therefore cannot improve existing homes.
- Can Habitat build on land owned by homeowners?
If homeowners wish to build a Habitat home on their own land, they must first deed over the land to Habitat. Once this step is complete, Habitat can build the home in order to mortgage it and the land together.
- Is Habitat for Humanity an arm of the government?
Habitat is a non-profit, Christian housing organization. We are not an arm of the government nor an arm of any church or denomination.