FAQs: Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County

Does Habitat give houses to people in need?

Houses are not given to anyone. Habitat builds homes with the participation of low income families and individuals, and then sells them to homeowner partners through zero interest loans. Because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage payments are reasonable for families unable to obtain conventional financing.

What is required of qualified home owners?

Qualifying applicants must be legal residents of the United States, living or working in Brevard County for at least one year prior to applying, and be living in inadequate conditions. A volunteer family selection committee reviews all applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process based on housing need and ability to repay the loan.
Habitat homeowners typically have incomes that are between 30% and 80% of the median income in the area. They are required to invest at least 300 hours of sweat equity that is, time spent volunteering in our community, taking homeowner educational classes, building their own home and other Habitat houses.

Does Habitat build houses only for minorities?

We build houses with people in need, without prejudice. The three criteria that drive the qualification process are need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat. Habitat for Humanity International and 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.

Are Habitat homeowners are on welfare?

While some Habitat homeowners do receive public assistance, most work at low-wage jobs. Habitat works in good faith with people who often are at risk in society. We know that owning a home is not the answer to every problem, but that it can be an important step, often the first step toward helping people break out of the cycle of poverty.

Do you have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner?

Habitat for Humanity was founded as, and is a Christian ministry. However, homeowners are chosen without discrimination, following the requirements of the law as well as Habitat's belief that God's love extends to all. Habitat welcomes people from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace the goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.

Does Habitat allow people to move from poverty to luxury?

Any newly built house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been living in any inadequate accommodations. Habitat's philosophy is to build simple, decent houses with families in need.

Do Habitat houses lower neighborhood property values?

Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. Habitat's approach to affordable housing improves neighborhoods and communities by strengthening community spirit and increasing the tax base while building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat construction.

Is Habitat for Humanity local, national or worldwide?

Because poverty housing is so widespread, Habitat's work is throughout the United States and around the world.
Habitat for Humanity of Brevard is not a chapter of Habitat for Humanity International but an affiliate, a grass-roots organization of local people coming together to address local housing needs. Each Habitat affiliate is an independent non-profit organization that operates within specific service areas under a covenant relationship with Habitat for Humanity International and is responsible for raising all of their own funding locally.
While Habitat for Humanity of Brevard serves our local community, Habitat for Humanity International started in the Southern United States and is based in Americus, and Atlanta, Georgia. However, Habitat has headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica; Pretoria, South Africa; Bratislava; Slovakia; and Bangkok, Thailand. Habitat is a global partnership drawing families in need together with volunteers and resources to build simple, decent houses all over the world in more than 90 countries.

Is Habitat for Humanity a government agency?

Habitat is an independent, non-profit Christian housing ministry and an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. It is not a part of government, or of any particular church denomination. Habitat does accept government funds as long as they do not affect Habitat's ability to proclaim its Christian witness.

Was Habitat for Humanity started by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter?

Habitat for Humanity International was started in Americus, Georgia in 1976 by the late Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, are longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national and international attention to the organization's work. They lead the annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

Is poverty housing a problem too big to be solved?

Not unlike too many places, poverty housing is a huge issue here in Brevard County, but Habitat Brevard believes that through collaboration with community partners, we can create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

What are the income requirements for applicants?

The minimum income for all families is $24,000, depending on debt. The maximum income is $36,000 for a family of two; $40,500 for a family of three; $45,000 for a family of four; $48,600 for a family of five; and $52,200 for a family of six.

What if my income, credit score, living situation, marital status, family size, criminal history or contact info changes during the course of my application process?

If any of those things change during the process from filling out your application until you close on your home, you are required to notify Habitat Brevard immediately as they affect your application for a loan.

How much is the average monthly house payment?

On an average, a Habitat home will have monthly payments ranging from $800 to $1,000, which includes principal, taxes, and insurance.

Will a “bankruptcy” make me ineligible for a Habitat house?

Brevard County Habitat requires applicants wait a minimum of two years after a bankruptcy before applying for a Habitat home. This two year wait gives Habitat a window to see how successfully you’ve managed your finances since the bankruptcy.

Are food stamps considered income?

No, food stamps are not considered income.

Can I still apply for a Habitat home if I’m currently Section 8 and/or qualify for low-income government housing?

Yes, you may still apply for a Habitat home.

Can I rent my MHFH Home?

The MHFH Homeownership program is intended for owner-occupants. MHFH does not allow its homeowners to rent their homes. Any MHFH homeowner that is found to be renting their home will be foreclosed on. Any applicant that applies for a MHFH homeownership program with the intent to rent their home will be deselected and barred from reapplying for the program.

Where can I get a free copy of my credit report?

You may request a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or you can mail a letter
requesting a copy of your credit report to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105283 Atlanta, GA 30348-5283

Who should I contact if I know I have more than $500 in collections on my credit report?

You should contact a HUD Approved Counseling agency for FREE credit counseling. Here is a list of HUD Approved Counseling Agencies. Please beware of businesses that will promise to fix your credit score or credit report. It is a scam.

How can I help?

You can volunteer on construction sites, serve on the selection committee, teach classes for partner families, make a donation of land, materials or money; work in our ReStore, donate furniture, appliances or other household items or simply spread the word! Contact: volunteer@habitat.com or 321.728.4009 x120

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