How Does Habitat Work?

Pemi-Valley Habitat works to secure land and to fund raise the money for the cost of a home. Once land and money are in place, a homeowner family is chosen. Homeowner families are chosen based on their need for housing, income level, ability to pay for the home, and their willingness to partner with Habitat (for more details see "How Are Homeowners Selected").

Houses are built at low cost through donations of materials and through donations of labor (volunteers). Licensed professionals install major systems like the well, septic, dirt work, foundation, electrical wiring and plumbing at a discounted price, or occasionally as a donation. Then a site supervisor (professional builder) leads volunteers (professional and unskilled) in completing the rest of the home. In addition to recruited volunteers, Habitat homeowners are required to put in at least 500 "sweat equity hours" on the house or on a Habitat committee (if they are physically unable to work on the house). Most homeowners end up putting in MUCH more than the allotted 500 hours, and often serve as an inspiration for many volunteers. All these strategies help keep home costs much lower than traditional construction.

Currently, the average cost of a home in the Plymouth area is $100,000-$120,000, depending on the size of the home and the area (compare this to an average new single family construction cost of $220,000).

Most homeowners end up paying less for their house payment (mortgage, taxes, & insurance) than they did for sub-standard rentals.
Homeowner mortgage payments are then used to help fund the next Habitat home. Habitat homeowners are encouraged to stay active with the affiliate (through work at the site and committees) and most are MORE than happy to help.



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