Why We Do It

Need is Great

There is a severe housing crisis in San Antonio!  Did you know more than 153,672 families have an unmet housing need? Or that 6,893 families in San Antonio are living in physically deficient conditions and 15,269 housing units in San Antonio are overcrowded?  Habitat is a great solution for families who work hard but need a little bit of a hand up and not a hand out.

How it Works

Families who qualify for the Habitat program are hardworking families who want nothing more than to improve their lives and the life of their families. They work side by side with volunteers and Habitat supporters to build decent homes for themselves and their neighbors, in hopes of creating thriving and stable communities in which to live. Habitat is committed to empowering each Habitat homeowner through emphasis on sweat equity, a strong home ownership readiness curriculum, then by selling the family the home with a zero percent interest mortgage.

About our Homeowners

We work with families whose total income is between 20% – 70% of the area median income. Families are accepted to the Habitat program based on their need, ability to pay a zero percent interest mortgage, and their willingness to partner. Applicants must be residents of Bexar County. Once accepted, homeowners are eligible to buy a home from Habitat with a 20 – 25 year zero percent interest mortgage. Families spend a minimum of 300 hours investing in “sweat equity”. Where they support and help build their own home and the homes of their neighbors. Monthly payments average $600 (including taxes and insurance). In our 40-year history we have less than a 2.0% foreclosure rate.

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 construction warehouse. They can even bring lunches to the site for the volunteers as a way of earning hours. Many families 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.

How We Are Funded

Our funding comes through partnerships with individuals, corporations, foundations, faith organizations and civic groups. It costs approximately $80,000 to build a Habitat house, including materials, tools and supplies (not including land or infrastructure). Habitat relies mostly on private sources of funding to build our affordable houses. Habitat will accept government funding for land acquisition, infrastructure and site preparation expenses. Since the success of our Home Centers fund our administrative expenses, 100% of every donated dollar goes directly into our building program.

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