Frequently asked questions
Read some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Habitat for Humanity and its work around the world.
What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and in approximately 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.
How does Habitat for Humanity help families?
People in your community and all over the world partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
How does Habitat for Humanity homeownership work?
Families in need of decent, affordable housing apply for homeownership with their local Habitat for Humanity.
Each local Habitat’s family selection committee selects homeowners based on three criteria:
- The applicant’s level of need.
- Their willingness to partner with Habitat.
- Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.
As part of their willingness to partner, Habitat’s homebuyers invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowners.
Visit our Apply for a Habitat house page to learn more.
Does Habitat for Humanity only build new houses?
Habitat for Humanity works in a number of different ways to create decent, affordable housing.
- In addition to new construction, Habitat also renovates existing homes in many communities, particularly in urban areas.
- Habitat for Humanity helps people repair and improve their own homes and neighborhoods.
- Habitat’s Disaster Response works with local communities to address a variety of housing needs after natural disasters.
- Habitat’s advocacy work raises awareness and support for decent and affordable housing around the world.
- Outside of North America, Habitat works with partner organizations to serve even more families through innovative financing methods.
How can I become a volunteer?
There are many ways to volunteer. Visit our Volunteer section to learn how to:
- Volunteer locally
- Travel and build
- Volunteer long-term
- Volunteer as part of a group
- Volunteer as part of a special event
What are Habitat for Humanity affiliates?
Habitat for Humanity affiliates are local Habitat for Humanity organizations that act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International.
Each Habitat affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area.
Does Habitat for Humanity take donations?
Habitat depends on financial donations to fund our work. These donations help families build a place they can call home. Visit our Support page to learn more.
We also have local home improvement stores called Habitat ReStores, which sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and appliances to the public. The money made from these sales is used to help families build a better future. To donate materials, contact your local Habitat ReStore.
For large corporations wishing to make bulk donations of goods and materials, please visit our In Kind Donations page.
For vehicle donations, please visit our Cars for Homes page.
What is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore?
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build strength, stability and self-reliance locally and around the world.
Where does Habitat for Humanity operate?
Habitat for Humanity operates in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world. Our operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, and our administrative headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
How are donations distributed and used?
Habitat for Humanity relies on gifts from individuals, corporations and other groups to help families in need of decent and affordable homes around the world. All donations of any amount are deeply appreciated.
Designated donations are allocated in support of the U.S. affiliate, national organization or program of the donor’s choosing.
Undesignated gifts are invested through the Global Impact Fund where they can have the greatest impact.
Habitat’s Global Impact Fund helps:
- Design and replicate innovative programs to serve more low-income families.
- Build the capacity of our network of U.S. affiliates and national organizations.
- Cover other costs necessary to ensure that Habitat fulfills its mission with excellence.
- Habitat’s most recent audited financial statement is available online.
Visit our Support page to learn more.
What is the organizational structure of Habitat for Humanity International?
An international board of directors oversees the work of Habitat for Humanity.
The Habitat headquarters are operated by an administrative staff, professional and support employees, and volunteers.
Visit our Leadership page for more information.
How does Habitat for Humanity work with the government?
Habitat asks legislators and housing regulators to increase support for affordable homeownership and decent housing.
Habitat monitors public policies related to housing, community and international development.
Habitat advocates for policies that will increase access to decent, affordable housing available to people around the world.
Habitat accepts government funds as long as they have no conditions that would violate our principles or limit our ability to proclaim our Christian identity.
Is Habitat for Humanity a Christian organization?
Yes, we are a global nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion. We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.