Habitat for Humanity frequently asked questions

What is Habitat for Humanity?

  • Habitat is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry.
  • We believe that every person should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
  • We build, renovate and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. 
  • We welcome all people to work with us in partnership.
  • We advocate to increase access to decent, affordable housing around the world.

Does Habitat give houses away?

  • No, Habitat for Humanity is not a giveaway program.
  • Habitat’s partner families buy the houses that Habitat builds and renovates.
    • Habitat makes no profit on the sale.
    • In the our service area, Habitat homeowners purchase their houses through affordable monthly mortgage payments.
  • Habitat’s homeowners also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners.

Does Habitat only focus on building new houses?

  • No, Habitat works in a number of different ways to create decent, affordable housing.
  • Habitat’s partnerships and advocacy work help raise the awareness and support needed to address housing needs around the world. 

How are Habitat’s homeowner families chosen?

  • Families in need of decent, affordable shelter should apply here.
  • Our affiliate’s family selection committee chooses Habitat homeowners for our local area, based on three criteria:
    • The family’s level of need.
    • Their willingness to become partners in the program.
    • Their ability to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan.
  • Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection.
  • Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowner families.
  • Visit our page on becoming a Habitat homeowner to learn more. 

What are Habitat affiliates?

  • Affiliates are community-level Habitat for Humanity organizations that act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International.
  • Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area.
  • Our affiliate, North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity, serves Silverton, Mt. Angel, Woodburn, Molalla, Hubbard, Aurora, Gervais, Canby and the rural outlying areas.

Can I donate materials?

  • Many local Habitat organizations operate ReStores, which sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and appliances to the public. To donate materials, contact our ReStore page. 

What is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore?

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community and hope locally and around the world.  NWV Habitat has two ReStore locations, one in Woodburn and one in Canby. Click here to visit our ReStore page. 

Where does Habitat for Humanity operate?

  • Worldwide.
  • Our operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, and our administrative headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

How are donations distributed and used?

  • We rely on gifts from individuals, corporations and other groups to fund our house-building mission. All donations of any amount are deeply appreciated and help us build more decent, affordable houses with more families in our local communities. 
  • Designated donations are allocated in support of the U.S. affiliate, national organization or program of the donor’s choosing.

Who controls and manages North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity?

  • An ecumenical, board of directors, who are deeply concerned about the problems of poverty housing. (link “board of directors” to the board of director’s page”
  • The Habitat office is operated by an administrative staff, professional and support employees, and volunteers. 

How does Habitat work with the government?

  • We ask legislators and housing regulators to increase support for affordable homeownership and eliminate poverty housing.
  • We monitor public policies related to housing, community and international development.
  • We advocate for policies that will increase access to decent, affordable housing for people around the world.
  • We accept government funds as long as they have no conditions that would violate our principles or limit our ability to proclaim our Christian identity.

How can I become a volunteer?