Door knob.

The impact of safe housing

Everyone should feel safe in their home

Across the globe, Habitat for Humanity is committed to creating safe places for families to call home.

In different parts of the world, different factors can affect a family’s sense of safety. For some, a Habitat home includes something they have never had before: a front door that locks and the sense of security that comes with it.

For others, moving into a new home they have helped build or making much-needed repairs to their existing home can address hazards they have had to live with for too long. The estimated direct and indirect health care cost of illnesses and injuries caused by inadequate housing conditions is in the tens of billions of dollars, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes Initiative.

“Home should be a source of happiness and hope. Home should offer a safe and stable environment. Home should help, not hinder, a person’s ability to thrive.”
— Shaun Donovan, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Putting down roots, renovating property and investing in communities also helps entire neighborhoods grow and become safer for everyone. Neighborhoods where residents stay put for a long time tend to be associated with lower crime rates, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Communities and networks of support form whenever residents come together to build and improve the places they call home.

Helping a longtime resident age in place

The place Sheila called home for nearly 70 years had a leaky roof and an inaccessible bathroom, but she lacked the finances to pay for the repairs herself. Habitat and Lowe’s helped Sheila repair her roof and bathroom, ensuring she can comfortably live in her beloved childhood home.

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5 qualities of a decent home

While Habitat’s work might look a little different in each of the 70 countries where we have a presence — based on local needs, styles, climate and materials — the elements that make a home “decent” are universal.

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