People who enter into the Habitat Program are hardworking, passionate individuals who want nothing more than to improve their lives and the life of their families. They work side by side with volunteers and Habitat staff to build modest, decent homes for themselves and their neighbors, in hopes of creating safe, stable communities for their loved ones. HFHSA is committed to the growth and development of each Habitat homeowner by promoting independence, pride, and mutual respect, which will help build strong, cooperative communities. To instill this self-sufficiency, each family is responsible for completing a minimum of 300 hours of sweat equity work, as well as paying a nominal down payment.
What is Sweat Equity?
Sweat equity is work done by the family toward the building of their home as well as the homes of their neighbors. We find that homeowners develop a strong sense of pride upon the completion of their hours as they reflect upon the time, effort, and indeed sweat that they sacrificed for their home. They also begin to develop relationships with the people who will eventually become their neighbors. Lastly, as homeowners work towards their 300 sweat equity, they learn useful home maintenance and repair skills. Along with working on the construction site, homeowners can also earn sweat equity hours by working in the Habitat administrative offices, the Habitat Home Center, and the warehouse. They can even bring lunches to the site for the volunteers as a way of gaining hours. Many members of the Habitat program go above and beyond the required 300 hours, and will even come out and work at the construction site months or years after they have moved into their homes.
About the Homeowners
We work with families whose total income is generally 20% – 70% of the area median income. Families are accepted to the Habitat program based on their need, ability to pay a 0% interest mortgage, and their willingness to partner. Applicants must be residents of Bexar County. Once accepted, homeowners are eligible to buy a house from Habitat at no profit. They will purchase the house with a 20 – 25 year 0% interest mortgage. Monthly payments average $500. In our 39 years, less than 1.5% of our Habitat houses have had to be foreclosed.