What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity International is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building “simple, decent, and affordable” housing. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor — sweat equity — into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
What does a Habitat house cost?
Throughout the world, the cost of houses varies from as little as $800 in some developing countries to an average of nearly $60,000 in the United States
Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price. Mortgage length varies from seven to 30 years.
What are Habitat affiliates?
Habitat for Humanity’s work is accomplished at the community level by affiliates — independent, locally run, nonprofit organizations. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area — fund raising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing.
We are called a Campus Chapter, which is a Habitat for Humanity organization on a college campus. We are student-led and run. All campus chapters are partnered with a local affiliate. Drexel’s Campus Chapter is partnered with Habitat Philadelphia. With this affiliate, we, as a Campus Chapter, set out to achieve four goals. The four functions of a Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter are:
Drexel Habitat for Humanity is also a part of a coalition or an alliance with the campus chapters at Temple University and University of Pennsylvania. In this coalition, the three schools come together to create a stronger force in achieving our four goals. In the past we have fundraised together, as well as built together. The coalition also allows for friendships, open communication, discussion, and advice to be shared between the three schools.