Dispelling Some Myths about Habitat for Humanity
Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.
Fact: HfHGP offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. In addition to contributing 300 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or someone else’s home, the homeowner is responsible for a mortgage – interest free. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, materal and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable – the house is sold for what it cost to build it.
Myth: Habitat houses reduce a neighborhood’s property value
Fact: Housing studies show affordable housing has no effect on neighborhood property values and increases local tax income. When Kingston, Plymouth, Carver, Plympton, Lakeville and Middlebobo donate land and a home is built there, income is provided to the town via property taxes where previously there was just an empty lot.
Myth: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
Fact: While some may receive benefits such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, many more are working people. Their income tends to be less than half the median income in the community.
Myth: You have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
Fact: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with US law and Habitat’s abiding belief that God’s love extends to everyone. HfHGP also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former US President Jimmy Carter.
Fact: Habitat was started in 1976 in America, but by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn have been long time Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization’s house-building work. Each year, they head the Jimmy Carter Work Project to hel build houses and raise awareness.