The History of Habitat
Habitat for Humanity was originally founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. The involvement of former U.S President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn in 1984 brought the organization into the nation’s eye and generated the interest of many others in the work of Habitat for humanity across the nation and the world. From that time onward, supporters and helping hands came forward to take the vision of the organization across the nation. Today, Habitat for Humanity across globe helps in gaining dignity, security and hope for thousands of low income families in the form of affordable homes. Churches, community groups and others join hands in resolving a significant social problem i.e. decent housing for all.
Habitat for Humanity seeks to build lives as well as homes.
Through the homes we build, hope is restored and lives are changed as the cycle of need is broken. Owning a home is not just about providing a roof over a head, but is also about dignity, security and a legacy left behind for future generations with expectation for their better future. Every individual deserves a decent place to live and to build a better family life.
How we build is just as important as what we build.
Habitat houses are built with a contribution of 350 hours of “Sweat Equity”, labor on the part of the Partner Families, or 250 hours for individual/single parents. Sweat Equity is a term coined to describe the physical labor the homeowner and their families and friends contribute to build homes for themselves as well as other homeowners like them. In addition, the homeowner must pay a 25 year zero percent interest mortgage.
Our work is impossible without your help and support.
Your support could be in any form whether it is your donation of time, money, labor, or a donation to the ReStore. It helps us to build homes, community, and hope with families in need. Even the smallest donation can become a big contribution in the building of a home. Habitat for Humanity- Cape Area is a non-profit Christian housing ministry.
“A world where everyone has a decent place to live. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”
Myths (and facts) about Habitat for Humanity
Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30 to 50 percent of the area's median income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make a $500 down payment. Additionally, they contribute 300 to 500 hours of "sweat equity" on the construction of their home or someone else's home. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
Myth: Habitat houses reduce a neighborhood’s property values.
Fact: Housing studies show affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have proven to increase property values and local government tax income.
Myth: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
Fact: While some Habitat homeowners receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children, many more are working people. Typically their annual income is less than half the local median income in their community.
Myth: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
Fact: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat's abiding belief that God's love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity International dictates policy and practices for every local Habitat organization.
Fact: Local Habitat affiliates are independent, nonprofit organizations that operate within a specific service area within the framework of the Habitat Affiliate Covenant.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity is not an arm of the government. Habitat is an independent, nonprofit organization that accepts some government funds and other resources to help provide houses for those in need. We accept these funds as long as they do not limit our ability to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. Additionally, our local affiliates insert specific guidelines as needed to avoid becoming dependent on or controlled by government funds.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Fact: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Ga., by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Ga.), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization's house-building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.