4 Common Myths about Habitat for Humanity

This is a short article I wrote for a community paper called The District earlier this year.

Habitat for Humanity: 4 Common Myths and How You Can Help!

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in approximately 70 countries around the world. We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home. Our affiliate, located above the ReStore at 727 Rothesay Avenue in Saint John, serves the Sussex to St. Stephen region.
You’re likely familiar with Habitat, and may have donated money to Habitat or items to the ReStore, but there are least four things you might not already know:

1. Habitat Does Not Give Houses Away For Free
Our homeowners make a monthly mortgage payment to Habitat, typically based on 30% of their gross income. The benefit for our homeowners is that they have a no interest, no down payment mortgage, with the payments going to assist with building more homes. The families contribute 500 hours of sweat equity through  volunteering or working on the Habitat homes.

2. It’s Not Just About Homelessness
Habitat focuses on the need for affordable homeownership. Costs of living are increasing, and families paying an ever-increasing share of income for a roof over their head. We believe setting the monthly payment at 30% of gross income means that they won’t have to decide between paying rent or buying food.

3. You Don’t Have To Be Handy To Volunteer
You don’t need to be a Scott McGillivray to volunteer. We are always looking for people to donate a few hours of their time, and most people who volunteer with our builds do not have any experience. We will teach and guide you with tasks that are within your comfort zone.

4. You Don’t Have To Build To Volunteer
You can help Habitat in many ways. We have several volunteer committees, from Family Selection and Support to Fundraising to Marketing and Communications. You can also help us at the ReStore too!

Feel free to contact me directly to get involved.

Kevin Perry
CEO, Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region 506-635-5977