Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. 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 and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
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.
Habitat for Humanity International's operational headquarters, located in Americus, Georgia, USA, and its administrative headquarters, located in Atlanta, Georgia, provide information, training and a variety of other support services to Habitat affiliates worldwide. Habitat also creates programs for geographic areas such as the Gulf Coast Recovery Program. Habitat for Humanity International’s Gulf Coast Recovery Program was established to build homes for families whose homes have been devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since the hurricanes in 2005, more than 1,300 houses have been built or are under construction in the region.
Habitat also runs a number of specialized volunteer programs such as “Women Build”, a program for women who are interested in learning construction skills, and numerous youth programs to involve young, energetic individuals to involve them as leaders in Habitat’s work.
All Habitat affiliates are asked to "tithe"- to give 10 percent of their contributions to fund house-building work in other nations. Tithing provides much-needed funds for international building, and it also gives affiliates the opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of Christian partnership. In 2001, U.S. affiliates tithed $9.04 million to support Habitat's work overseas. Some affiliates in developing countries also receive funding grants from Habitat for Humanity International.
Habitat is a worldwide, grassroots movement. Habitat has a presence in more than 90 countries, including all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. According to the latest available statistics (through 1997), 33 percent of Habitat homeowners are Anglo; 67 percent are people of color. Some Habitat homeowners receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), many more are working people. Typically their annual income is less than half the local median income in their community.
Habitat for Humanity International has built over 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
In FY07 a record high number of families had a better place to live because of Habitat.
- 49,039 new homes, rehabilitated homes and repaired homes.
- 279,723 housing solutions provided to families since 1976.
- By the end of FY2007, Habitat was helping another family improve its housing situation every 10 minutes.
Homeowner family in front of their nearly-completed new Habitat house in Kattapuly, India: Michel and Vividha, along with their four sons Stennis (13), Mikedison (12), Selso (9), Hayden (1) and daughter Maglin (5). Full Story