How does it work?
- Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses alongside our homeowner (partner) families.
- Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
- Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans.
- The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
How are partner families selected?
- Families in need of decent shelter apply to Habitat for Humanity of Mifflin County.
- The affiliate’s family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan.
- Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection.
- Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses.
Why can’t I find out the cost of the house before we become a partner family?
- The cost of the house is determined by the cost of materials used to complete the house. The more materials and/or appliances are donated, the lower the cost of the house. The cost of the house will be determined once the “build” is complete.
What is sweat equity? Can my family help with the sweat equity?
- Sweat equity is the required number of work hours a partner family must complete before they can purchase the house. Although most families elect to earn their sweat equity hours laboring on the Habitat House they are going to buy, the required hours (usually around 500 hours) can be earned in multiple ways (clerical, fund raising, etc.).
Who actually holds the mortgage for my Habit House?
- Habitat for Humanity of Mifflin County holds the mortgage for a Habit House. Once the house is complete and the Partner Family has taken possession, the monthly mortgage payment will be made to HFHMC. That payment will go directly to the Habitat treasury to be used for a future building project.
How much interest will I have to pay? How does HFHMC determine what the final price will be for the house?
- The loans given to Partner Families by HFHMC are interest free. The amount of the mortgage is based on the cost of the materials only; there are no charges for labor provided by HFHMC volunteer building.
What is escrow?
- An escrow account is set up by HFHMC for the Partner Family. Part of each month’s mortgage payment will be put into a separate account that will be used to pay property taxes. This process is frequently used by mortgage companies to insure that the taxes will be paid on time.
How long is the mortgage set up for?
- HFHMC usually writes mortgages for 25 or 30 years.
How can I become a volunteer?
- Volunteers are alway needed and always welcome. We meet the first Monday of the month at Derry Township Senior Citizen Center, Yeagertown, PA at 6:30 pm.
- When we are building, we obviously need workmen and women, but there are many other types of help we need. Someone to provide sandwiches and lunch on big work days, non-builders to help “fetch and carry”, clean up or to be gophers.
How can I get more information?
Through any of the following methods:
- Email us at [email protected].
- Write to Habitat for Humanity of Mifflin County, PO Box 1124, Lewistown, PA 17044
- Call us at (717) 247-8067