Habitat for Humanity reaches 29 million served as it rises to growing challenges of housing quality and affordability in the U.S. and around the world

ATLANTA (Nov. 19, 2019) — Every 21 seconds.

That’s how often Habitat for Humanity helped another family access new or improved housing somewhere around the world in 2019. In all, Habitat served more than 7 million people, enlisting the support of more than 1.4 million volunteers. Those are among the takeaways from Habitat for Humanity International’s fiscal year 2019 annual report which was published today.

“From our roots on a south Georgia farm to the international organization Habitat is today, our story is one of people coming together to offer a hand,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “It is humbling to think that Habitat’s volunteers, donors and staff have enabled our ministry to help so many people build better lives for their families. But the challenge before us is even more humbling. Far too many people—from cities and towns here in the United States, to communities across the globe—do not have access to safe, decent or affordable homes. As this report shows, Habitat is ready to rise to that challenge, and we will use every tool at our disposal to do so.”

Graph showing individuals served by Habitat ending in 29 million by FY2019.

Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has now helped more than 29 million people improve their housing conditions. Every one of those people has a Habitat story.

Lorrie’s Portland, Oregon, Habitat home means she and her family are “able to do more together, spend more time as a family. I don’t have to work all the overtime hours that I used to have to work just in order to make it.”

Habitat Poland homeowner Miroslaw reflects that his home “sets a good example for my family and a good example for the community. A human being helping another human being can accomplish great things.”

As Hurricane Maria approached the Dominican Republic, Omar and Wendy tried to tie their roof to the house. It didn’t work. But after partnering with Habitat, they have a new home built specifically to better weather future storms. “If it rains, we don’t have have to run and look for shelter because our own house is a safe place to stay,” Omar says.

Bir Ram of Nepal says that his new home changed his “hope for life.” “I can see my boys sleeping soundly. Their sound sleep not only makes them healthy and happy, but it allows them to have better dreams. My heart cries with joy because I know my kids are dreaming about a better future.”

The report documents Habitat’s many types of work to improve housing around the world—from continuing its traditional work to build safe, decent and affordable homes in partnership with soon-to-be homeowners, to its innovative focus on financial inclusion, housing market systems and entrepreneurship, and to its groundbreaking development of microfinance for the housing sector. Habitat is also broadening its efforts to impact the housing sector through advocacy, having recently launched the Cost of Home campaign which aims to improve housing affordability for 10 million people in the United States over the next five years.

The annual report demonstrates donors’ continued support of Habitat’s mission, as well as Habitat’s continued commitment to global stewardship. The report documents US$300 million in revenue to Habitat for Humanity International, and estimates US$2.3 billion in total revenue throughout Habitat’s global federated network of U.S. and international organizations. At Habitat for Humanity International, program spending accounted for 78% of total expenses, including the transfer of more than US$120 million in cash and donated product to Habitat organizations around the world.

By the numbers:

  • Habitat served more than 7 million people around the world in fiscal year 2019 through construction—including new, rehabilitation, repairs and incremental building—market development, professional services and facilitation of civil society.
    • This includes more than 33,000 people in the U.S. and Canada, more than 2 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 1.8 million people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and more than 3.1 million people in Asia and the Pacific region.
  • Habitat’s total global housing construction was up by nearly 8% in fiscal year 2019 over the previous year.
  • Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 29 million people gain access to new or improved housing around the world.
  • Through advocacy and training, Habitat helped an additional 2.3 million people gain the potential to improve their housing conditions in fiscal year 2019.
  • More than 1.4 million people volunteered with Habitat in fiscal year 2019. Of those, 87% originated in the U.S., volunteering on builds within their communities or abroad through global service opportunities.
  • U.S. Habitat organizations tithed US$14.6 million to support Habitat’s work around the world.

To learn more and to read the 2019 annual report, visit habitat.org/multimedia/annual-report-2019.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.