Habitat’s Women Build program and Whirlpool Corporation co-sponsored Habitat homeowner survey conducted by Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana
ATLANTA (March 8, 2012) – A recent survey of Habitat for Humanity homeowners indicates significant increases in areas of homeowners’ self-esteem, well-being, overall family health and neighborhood pride. The survey reflects input from more than 320 Habitat homeowners (more than 85 percent of them women) in 44 U.S. cities who had bought their homes within the past five years, and measures the impact of homeownership and respondents’ satisfaction with the Habitat partnership experience.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA (3/8/2012) — Dr. Marie Opartny of the University of Southern Indiana speaks during a symposium on Women and Housing, presented by Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build program for International Women’s Day. — (c)Habitat for Humanity/Steffan Hacker
Habitat’s Women Build program and Whirlpool co-sponsored the survey, part of a two-week survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana. During an International Women’s Day Women Build symposium on women and housing, hosted by Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program on March 8, researchers presented findings from the survey.
Some key findings from the survey include:
- Nearly 74 percent of respondents reported that their family state of well-being improved after moving into their Habitat home.
- More than 98 percent reported moderate to high self-esteem after moving into their Habitat home.
- 93 percent take pride in their neighborhood.
- 97 percent felt that Habitat has improved their quality of life.
- 53 percent felt that their Habitat home has helped improve their job opportunities.
- 57 percent indicated that adults in the home are furthering their education.
- 74 percent indicated that their family’s overall health had improved since moving into their home.
- 90 percent of women surveyed felt a sense of power being part of a Habitat build.
- 84 percent felt safe in their neighborhood since moving into their Habitat home.
- 56 percent felt that their children can walk safely to school since moving into their Habitat home.
- 69 percent have transportation choices in their neighborhood since moving into their Habitat home.
- Before homeownership, only 31 percent of respondents focused on “green” efforts; after homeownership 71 percent of respondents had that focus.
Beyond the statistics, the survey yielded more qualitative evidence—in the homeowners’ own words—of the positive impact that decent, affordable housing and the Women Build program have on lives and communities:
- “My son is excelling at school. I think a large part of that is the house. He can have a set bed time. He can have a quiet place to do his homework. We couldn’t do any of those things while staying with someone else.”
- “I gained a lot of courage and strength and faith in my community. I have the ability to focus on building my own business now that I have a home. I love growing a garden. I am very involved in my community. I am continuing my education.”
- “I have learned a lot but the basic skills have helped me make minor repairs since moving into my home.”
- “I have learned to manage my money better. The stress level has gone down. I’m not constantly worrying what is going to break down.”
A cosponsor of the survey, Whirlpool Corporation has been a national partner of Habitat for Humanity for more than 12 years, donating more than 140,000 ranges and Energy Star qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes built in North America, serving 71,000 families.
Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build recruits, educates and nurtures women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities. The first all-women built Habitat house was constructed in 1991, and since Habitat’s Women Build program was formed in 1998, more than 1,900 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes have been constructed in partnership with Habitat partner families.
Habitat’s International Women’s Day Women Build symposium also featured discussion around international women-led households. Beth Birmingham, associate professor of Leadership and Change at Eastern University in St. Davids, Penn., discussed her research around Habitat for Humanity’s impact in Macedonia, Mexico, Vietnam and Tanzania.
International Women’s Day honors the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org , or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat  or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org  or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog .
About Whirlpool Corporation
In more than 12 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool Corporation has donated more than 140,000 ranges and Energy Star qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes built in North America, serving 71,000 families. The company has sponsored more than 100 homes around the world and served more than 24,504 families in Europe alone. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 28,000 products to Habitat ReStore retail outlets in the United States, helping to raise over $4.6 million. A proud sponsor of Habitat’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2003, the value of the company’s commitment to Habitat nears $78 million. With active partnerships in 40 countries, Whirlpool has engaged 8,000 employee volunteers and plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution or volunteerism.
About Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana
The Center for Applied Research (CAR) is located within the Division of Outreach and Engagement at the University of Southern Indiana. CAR serves as a front door for businesses and organizations to connect with University resources including faculty, staff, students, equipment and facilities. CAR provides project management and administrative support, which allows experts to focus on the applied research. The staff coordinates a wide variety of projects, ranging from economic impact research to engineering design to program assessments. CAR specializes in helping community partners with their specific challenges, creating additional opportunities to thrive and grow for future success. For more information, please contact Elissa Bakke at 812-461-5442 or visit us at http://www.usi.edu/extserv/car/ .