FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is Housatonic Habitat for Humanity?
We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that works in partnership with individuals, businesses, congregations, schools, and civic groups to build affordable homes for local families living in situations of housing need. We were founded in 1991 as a recognized affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.
Q: Where do you build and provide services?
Our service area is 16 towns in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties centered around the greater Danbury area. While our construction has focused on four towns, our Brush with Kindness repair program is offered regionally to low-income homeowners who might not be able to afford to maintain their residence.
Q: Who is eligible for a Housatonic Habitat home?
We serve families who earn less than 66% of area median income ($45,000 - $70,000 household income) and can also pay our affordable mortgage. Applicants must also be willing to put in 250 sweat equity hours towards building their home and attend financial literacy courses. All applicants fill out a mortgage application and submit documentation typical when applying for a mortgage, as well as a written personal statement. Applications are reviewed by trained volunteers and credit reviewers. Qualified applicants are interviewed in person to evaluate housing need and a willingness to partner with us. We follow a strict nondiscriminatory policy, and abide by all fair housing laws.
Q: How can I become a volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer in a variety of ways! Construction volunteers, experienced or not, are encouraged to sign up. We also have many non-construction volunteer positions – from sitting on our board to serving on one of our many committees or working in our office.
ReStore also depends on volunteers for everything from helping customers, to arranging the merchandise. Visit our ReStore page to learn more.
Q: Who "gets" a Habitat built house?
Habitat doesn’t build houses FOR anyone. We are not a giveaway program either. We build houses WITH people in need, without regard to race. Three criteria drive the family selection process: need, ability to repay the no profit mortgage, and willingness to partner with Habitat. The U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale of housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status, or national origin. The covenant that all local Habitat affiliates sign with Habitat for Humanity International also specifies that Habitat homeowner families are selected according to criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or ethnic background.
Homes are sold to qualified buyers at far less than market value because of volunteer labor and donations of materials and services.
Q: Who funds Habitat?
Much of our funding comes from individuals who believe that everyone deserves a decent home in which to live. Other funds come from our partners, businesses, civic groups and foundations. Net-profit from our ReStore provides significant funding. We also seek donations of land, building materials, and other gifts in-kind. Finally, monthly mortgage payments are used to build more homes for more families.
Q: Was Habitat for Humanity founded by former president Jimmy Carter?
Nope. In fact, while President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, are longtime supporters of Habitat (which we love!), the organization was founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by the late Millard Fuller.