Habitat for Humanity California is a statewide coalition of more than 45 independent Habitat affiliates that serve communities across California. The coalition works in unison to advocate for affordable homeownership opportunities for families with limited-incomes and in almost all cases helping families make the transition from multi-generational renting to ownership.

Habitat for Humanity California accomplishes its goals by providing tools and resources to Habitat affiliates that serve specific geographical areas to educate and advocate to their local legislators and communities.

Habitat for Humanity California also works with housing advocates throughout the state to advocate for the increased the supply of housing at every level of the housing continuum – emergency shelter, supportive housing, rental, and homeownership.


Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity has emerged as a leading model for addressing the issues of poverty housing and disaster response. Globally, Habitat has partnered with families to build more than 500,000 homes, providing housing to over 1.7 million people.

Habitat for Humanity gained national recognition after former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat build trip in 1984, which was the Jimmy Carter Work Project in New York City. Their personal involvement increased national awareness and inspired interest in Habitat’s work across the United States. As a result, there was a dramatic increase in the number of local Habitat affiliates launched in communities around the country.

To date, Habitat affiliates across California have made a major impact in local communities by building, renovating and repairing more than 2,000 homes.

The Housing Issue

Habitat serves families with limited incomes who typically rent and that have little to no hope of owning a home.  Unfortunately it is getting more and more difficult for families with limited incomes to find safe and affordable rental properties.

More often than not, lower income households cannot afford increasing rents to secure affordable, adequate, and stable housing for their families, and are being squeezed out of the rental market by middle and upper income households seeking better affordability.

As ownership housing prices continue to rise, there is little to no hope for families with lower incomes to own a home.  Recent reports such as the 2014 California Department of Housing and Community Development’s “Highlights of the State of Housing in California” the Public Policy Institute of California’s, “California’s Future” identify the following challenges facing all Californians.

  • 2/3 of renter households earn less than 60% of their area median income
  • 1/4 of total renters earn less than 30% of their area median income
  • In February 2014, the median sales price in California was $404,250 – requiring an income of at least $87,000 a year.
  • In 43 counties in California ½ of families with lower incomes pay more than they can afford for housing
  • California’s private housing market is not providing an adequate number of homes affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
  • In the next five years California is at-risk of losing 57,000 federally subsidized affordable apartments through conversion to market rate

How Habitat Works

Habitat for Humanity affiliates in California approach the challenge of providing affordable home ownership opportunities to low-income families in an innovative way. Affordable homes are built using a large amount of volunteer labor, donated funds and materials. Then the homes are sold at affordable prices to qualified limited-income families.

Read more about how we build.

Owning a Home

Qualified families, selected on an equal opportunity basis, buy Habitat homes at affordable prices through 30-year zero-interest mortgages. In addition, each family contributes hundreds of hours of volunteer labor or “sweat equity” to the construction of their home. This “sweat equity” or “self-help” component of the program is a major investment on the part of the homeowner, and increases homeowner pride of ownership. Upon completion, the homes are sold to the partner families and the mortgage payments received by Habitat are then reinvested to help fund the construction of future Habitat homes.

Read more about how to own a home through Habitat.

A Habitat for Humanity partner family volunteering on the construction site

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