To enrich the lives of Orange County residents through proactive volunteer service.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: PLACENTIA BUILD
The Homearly family recently put down the cell phones and picked up some hammers to help our community. Our team headed to the Habitat for Humanity’s Placentia build site and helped construct two homes for deserving families. We learned about the amazing work Habitat for Humanity is doing right here in Orange County.
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
Habitat OC has completed 205 new homes in Orange County since 1988, serving more than 4,000 Orange County women, men and children.
About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seek to put love and faith into action by building homes, communities, and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.
Habitat Homeownership Process
There are several checks and balances in place to protect both Habitat and the potential homeowner:
Habitat for Humanity performs an extensive background check on potential homeowners, including character references, employer interviews, and audit of finances. The applicants are required to sign release forms authorizing Habitat for Humanity to perform this background check. This ensures that Habitat’s risk is reasonable when selling a home and that the applicant family is in a suitable financial position to take on the responsibility of a mortgage.
Homeowners are usually expected to put approximately 500hours of “sweat equity” into their own or other project homes, although this amount may vary by location, the number of wage-earning adults in each family, and the recipients’ health issues. This sweat equity acts as the down payment on the home. Every hour spent earning this sweat equity must be approved and signed off on by an official Habitat for Humanity representative.
Once construction on the home is finished and the sweat equity is completed in full, the homeowner purchases the home with a 0% to 2% interest mortgage (in the United States). With monthly payments (including taxes and insurance) that do not exceed 30% of the household’s monthly income.
Mortgage payments from homeowners are deposited into a locally administered “Fund for Humanity”, the proceeds of which go toward future construction. In an effort to discourage predatory lenders from targeting Habitat homeowner families, mortgage agreements require the Habitat for Humanity affiliate the right of first refusal. Until the mortgage is paid in full, a Habitat home has no equity and can only be sold back to Habitat for Humanity. Should a homeowner family decide to sell their home during the period of their mortgage, the affiliate will buy it back at market value. Often affiliates will have a shared appreciation model that will allow the affiliate to recapture a portion of the equity in the home depending on the time the family lived in the home and paid on the mortgage.
The typically no interest mortgage payments permit a family the freedom to manage their finances more effectively, the end goal being to provide a ‘hand up’ and not a ‘hand out’ as it were. In some locations, attendance at money management courses is mandatory for potential homeowners.
Contact us if you interested in joining us for our next volunteering event. Let us know your availability and we will get back to you with the details.