There are several necessities of life. But then, shelter is unarguably one of them and the most important. If you have a place to call home, you’ll understand why this is true.
You can’t think of getting married or bringing children into this world if you don’t have a place to live. Even if you consider such, you’ll only succeed in plunging yourself into more struggles. So, nobody is willing to go down that route.
In addition, not having a roof over your head can adversely affect one’s general health, mood, mental health, self-confidence, and progress in life.
Thankfully, Habitat for Humanity, a not-for-profit organization, has been doing great in helping low-income families get a roof over their heads. But lately, several events have given people reasons to consider the organization a bad route to becoming homeowners.
So, why do most people consider Habitat for Humanity (HFH) as a terrible choice? These and more are what you’ll find out from this post.
What Habitat For Humanity Is
Before discussing why Habitat for Humanity is terrible, let’s talk about what the organization is all about.
Habitat for Humanity, also called Habitat for Humanity International, is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization founded in 1976 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Additionally, Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization founded by Millard Fuller and Linda Fuller. The organization aims to get rid of the poverty of housing by making low-income families homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) currently boasts partners worldwide and builds homes in 70 different countries. Here’s a quick look at the regions where they operate, in no particular order.
- The Pacific
- Middle East
- United States of America
- Caribbean and Latin America
The vision of this global not-for-profit housing organization is to have a world where everyone can have a decent shelter to call their own. They operate in the 50 states of the United States of America.
Why Most Individuals Believe Habitat For Humanity Is Bad
Being a faith-based nonprofit organization whose mandate is to help the poor land a decent home, Habitat for Humanity needs to project a positive image. Over the years, a handful of people have had nothing but weird things to say about the organization.
So, why do most people believe that Habitat for Humanity is a terrible nonprofit housing organization?
Reason#1: HFH homes aren’t free as most people thought:
Firstly, many believe that HFH (Habitat for Humanity) gives families free homes when it’s all a myth. So, hearing that it’s not free is the reason most people feel disappointed at the organization.
In the real sense, a family seeking a Habitat home qualifies for a no interest and no down payment mortgage. This allows individuals to purchase their homes from HFH at a reasonable market value.
So, HFH doesn’t give homes for free. You have to qualify and work for it.
Reason#2: Not everyone qualifies for HFH homes:
The truth is, being poor doesn’t qualify you to own an HFH house. You have to meet specific criteria. Most people don’t like the idea that the not-for-profit organization uses certain factors to qualify interested candidates. They want HFH to offer homes to everyone in need, which isn’t visible.
Now, the question is, who is qualified to apply for an HFH house? There are various criteria. For up-to-date information, reach out to the closest affiliate and inquire about their application process.
However, the general requirement is to work or live around the organization’s service area. You can’t be in Florida and apply for an HFH home in New York. It’s not possible or going to work out.
Additionally, another criterion is your median income. You must be earning somewhere around 30 to 80 percent of the HFH region’s median income. Plus, you must be ready to pay your mortgage and be willing to partner with the organization.
So, why would people consider HFH a bad option if they can make you a homeowner? As you might have discovered, securing an HFH’s home is a little demanding. But it’s worth it.
Reason#3: You cannot determine your proposed building’s specifications:
Many people want a home built to their taste. If you’re one of such persons, Habitat for Humanity (HFH) isn’t for you. But that doesn’t mean HFH homes aren’t decent, require low maintenance, and contain basic amenities. They do.
However, don’t get your hopes high. HFH homes aren’t packed with luxuries, as many would expect.
Reason#4: You can’t perform any major renovation in an HFH home:
One of the drawbacks of HFH homes is that they don’t allow homeowners to perform major renovations on their houses for a certain period (usually, 10 years or as stipulated by the Habitat for Humanity you’re dealing with).
So, if you’re ready to live in a decent apartment with only basic amenities, Habitat for Humanity homes are for you. But if you’re more interested in landing a house packed with luxuries and one where you can perform significant renovations at will, HFH isn’t for you.
Reason#5: Homeowners must perform sweat equity:
Sweat equity means volunteering to partner and work with HFH to build other homes. As a wannabe homeowner qualified for HFH’s housing program, sweat equity is one of the compulsory things you must do to secure your home.
The hours required for sweat equity varies. But according to Habitat for Humanity, homeowners are expected to work 60 hours every month. In total, you may end up spending somewhere between 200 to 500 hours. Minimum is 100 hours.
Most applicants see HFH’s sweat equity as a burden and lose interest in pursuing their application. But if you genuinely need a roof over your head and value the time other volunteers would put into building your new home, nothing should stop you from performing your sweat equity. It doesn’t matter if you are sawing boards and feeding them to other workers, or if you are welding metal frames with an aluminum welding machine.
Furthermore, please keep in mind that you may have to take homeowners and financial classes by HFH.
Reason#6: You have to notify Habitat for Humanity before selling their home:
Wait, it’s not what you think. Since you have satisfied all that HFH requires to own the house, it now belongs to you. However, when fortune smiles on you and you decide to move to a better apartment, you have to notify HFH before selling the house.
HFH has the right of first refusal. And if they accept to buy the house, they’ll do so at a reasonable price.
Reason#7: Habitat for Humanity Mortgage is similar to banks’
HFH mortgages are similar to how banks operate theirs. You’ll have a certain amount of time to pay up your mortgage. And once done, you automatically own the house.
However, HFH is quite different from banks in that they are not-for-profit and operate differently.
HFH offers 0 percent interest, which banks don’t allow.
What Habitat For Humanity Does
By now, you may have understood what HFH does. But let’s discuss more on that to clear the air.
Habitat for Humanity’s primary area of focus is shelter. The organization believes shelter shouldn’t be a problem for anyone at this moment in time.
So, what does Habitat for Humanity do? The not-for-profit organization assists individuals in repairing, building, and improving their homes.
So, whether you’re homeless, or looking to renovate your current apartment, Habitat for Humanity can come through for you. If you’re seeking to purchase a house via this organization, you should be ready to perform what they term as “sweat equity.”
This equity refers to hours of work a potential homeowner must commit to the construction of HFH homes. Future homeowners have to work alongside other volunteers and be ready to pay a mortgage, considered affordable.
So, Habitat for Humanity makes the construction of energy-efficient homes a breeze. They also provide sanitation and water solutions, mitigate dangers caused by disasters, and render support for housing microfinance loans.
Why do most people believe Habitat for Humanity is bad? Like every organization, HFH has had its ups and downs. But that doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Many families have gotten a roof over their heads, thanks to the organization.
How HFH operates is the reason many people resist them. But the truth is, if you’re not comfortable with the organization’s modus operandi, there’s no point applying for a home. You can consider other options.