How We Build

Habitat for Humanity affiliates in California approach the challenge of providing affordable home ownership opportunities to limited-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 families.

Communities Working Together

Habitat for Humanity brings together diverse groups of local citizens, corporations, faith groups and others to focus on sustainable housing solutions. Future Habitat homeowners also contribute hundreds of hours of volunteer labor or “sweat equity,” working side by side with volunteers to build their own home, and the homes of their neighbors. 

By engaging with local community members, corporations, faith groups and future homeowners volunteers provide their neighbors a hand-up, not a hand-out.  This unique model helps provide investment from all the community stake holders and gives everyone involved a sense of pride and camaraderie.

Volunteers Lower Costs

Volunteers and homeowners work side by side under trained supervision to build modest homes that provide real value to the limited-income families. In addition to volunteer labor, Habitat seeks to leverage community partnerships with pro-bono services and local material vendors to help keep homes affordable for partner families, while also maintaining a very high quality of construction.

Once construction is complete, families purchase the homes through a no-interest, zero down-payment loan provided by Habitat affiliates. These mortgage payments are then reinvested to help fund the construction of future Habitat homes.

Building Green

When possible, Habitat for Humanity affiliates across California utilize the latest in environmentally friendly materials, energy efficient techniques and sustainable construction practices. Green building reduces construction waste, improves working conditions for volunteers and improves the indoor air quality for partner families once they move in.

Greener homes also make long-term financial sense for the future homeowners. Reducing energy and maintenance costs helps families achieve greater financial stability. With these savings families are prone to invest in the future of their family, such as their children’s education, helping to break the generational cycle of poverty.

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