Do you happen to know that California is in the middle of a housing crisis? California is known as one of the most expensive states to stay in; there are simply not enough affordable apartments and homes that meet the needs of locals. Every single day, more families seem to be struggling to keep a roof over their heads because the rent prices are constantly changing unpredictably. There is also a lack of access to affordable financing options. Opportunities for affordable housing do not come by easily.
That is where Habitat for Humanity California comes in! Habitat for Humanity California understands how a safe and affordable home plays a vital role when it comes to helping families create a sustainable, healthy life. Affordable homeownership also enables these families to create a life filled with possibilities and free from stress, uncertainty and fear.
Habitat For Humanity California
The Habitat for Humanity California, a non-profit organization with the mission of serving communities across California, comprises independent Habitat affiliates which brings people together. Their vision is to see a world where every citizen has a decent place to stay. Habitat California provides housing that is affordable with a specific focus on low-income families, offering them opportunities for homeownership.
More Than Just Building New Houses
Aside from building new affordable houses, there are several other ways on how Habitat works. The Habitat Affiliates offers renovating services for existing houses, especially in the urban areas. They also help the communities by providing repair services to improve their existing neighbourhoods and homes. Another way of how Habitat works are by spreading awareness and providing support for affordable houses across California. A few of the Habitat Affiliates offer several financial counselling courses and programs to help homebuyers in preparation for buying their home. In addition, Habitat provides support to housing needs when a natural disaster happens, also known as Habitat’s Disaster Response program while working closely with local communities.
Offering Affordable Housing
What do we mean by affordable housing? Well, the houses provided by Habitat are being sold below the regular market rate. When it comes to reselling, it is allowed but with restrictions because the organization wants to protect the affordability of these houses. Since the main concept is to offer affordable homes, the tools and materials used upon building these houses are affordable as well. We recently reviewed some affordable power tools and suggested to them how it could be very cost-effective for the organization and community. Being cost-effective is important as Habitat for Humanity naturally relies on funds from the public, including groups, churches, individuals and business corporations to build and repair houses in California. Aside from that, they also rely on government partnerships and local programs to build houses. However, since 2011, these funds have been eliminated or reduced tremendously.
How Habitat For Humanity Works
Initially, the idea of this non-profit organization is to make use of private funds and volunteer labour to come together, build basic houses and eventually sell them to low-income families at no-interest mortgages as well as zero profit.
As mentioned by the founder of Habitat for Humanity, Millard Fuller, in a phone interview, Habitat is a Christian organization to challenge people to help one another solve poverty, homeless and housing problems through religious motivation.
The money collected from these homeowners over the years of 15 to 25-year mortgages will eventually be recycled into other projects. These people are also required to invest 500 up to 1,000 hours of “sweat equity”, which is the number of hours spent to build their home as well as other homes. Each homeowner is required to be consistent and active by participating in construction projects and work alongside other volunteers in the community.
To apply for homeownership, families need to go through their local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate directly. You must meet the following criteria to be part of the committee:
- The level of need
- The willingness to partner alongside Habitat
- The ability to repay the required mortgage with an affordable repayment plan
In conjunction with the willingness to partner with Habitat, all Habitat’s home buyers must invest hours of labour, also known as sweat equity which was mentioned earlier. Of course, without a question, race or religion will not be a factor when it comes to choosing Habitat’s homeowners.
How To Look For A Habitat Affiliate
There are roughly more than 40 affiliates scattered across the state in urban areas, suburban and rural counties. You can find your local affiliate here.