What We Do
Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a non-profit, ecumenical, Christian, volunteer-based organization dedicated to building simple low-cost homes by forming working partnerships with low-income families in desperate need of decent housing.
Habitat for Humanity home ownership provides secure affordable housing to families who have met the criteria and been accepted into the Habitat program, that have been precariously sheltered in substandard, deteriorating overcrowded or unsafe rental units. Habitat unites neighborhood groups, corporations, local businesses and churches in a volunteer effort to achieve truly affordable home ownership for those in need.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does Habitat for Humanity give houses away?
No. A Habitat for Humanity home is a hand up – not a handout. We build houses in partnership with families in need. The homeowner takes on a no-profit, interest free loan for the cost of the house. In addition to the monthly repayments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor – sweat equity – into building their Habitat for Humanity house and the houses of others.
Where do the mortgage repayments go?
Payments go back to the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and are used to build more homes.
Who gets a Habitat home?
Manatee County Habitat for Humanity serves families who make between 35% and 65% of the area media income. That means that a family of four would have to make between $21,000 and $40,000 to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home in Manatee County. In addition to income levels, families are selected based on need for housing, ability to repay the loan and willingness to partner.
- Need for housing includes all forms of substandard housing – safety of the neighborhood, physical condition of the home, overcrowding and cost-burden of current rent payments are all considered.
- Ability to repay the loan looks at the potential homeowner’s ability to carry both the cost of the 30-year, no interest mortgage and other expenses related to owning a home.
- Displaying willingness to partner means that families work at least 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” side-by-side with volunteers to their home and the homes of their neighbors. In addition, they attend at least 14 hours of classes on home maintenance, budgeting and financial literacy.
Do you have to be a Christian to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity house?
While Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based organization, every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Factors like religion, race, gender or nationality are not considered in selecting families to become Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
What do the homes look like?
Habitat for Humanity builds many different types of homes all over the world. Here in Manatee County, we build three- and four-bedroom homes ranging between 1,000 sq ft and 1,100 sq. ft. in size. Each home has a kitchen, living/dining room, bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, laundry room and a shed. View a virtual home tour here.
Where has Manatee County Habitat for Humanity built homes? Where are you building now?
The 100 homes built through Manatee Habitat are located in Bradenton, Palmetto and the unincorporated county. Volunteers just finished building homes at Washington Park – a 12-home subdivision north of the City of Palmetto – and will soon start “Hope Landing” in Ellenton. Read more about these neighborhoods in: “Communities – Where We Build.”
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