Build & Ownership Process
At Habitat for Humanity Canada, we believe in making affordable housing accessible to low-income families who could not otherwise afford to own a home.
We make this possible for our partner families by:
- Building homes using volunteer labour and donated materials
- Selling these homes to partner families with a required commitment of 500 volunteer hours
- Offering families an affordable and sustainable no-interest, no down-payment mortgage, with monthly payments set at 25 % of gross income (this includes principal repayment and property tax - at the discretion of the affiliate, homeowner insurance may be collected as well, in which case payments would not exceed 30% of gross household income)
Habitat homes help families avoid making impossible choices between rent and other basic necessities by providing them with a mortgage they can afford. An affordable mortgage allows our partner families to ensure their needs are met – including childcare, transportation, groceries, education, school supplies, medical and dental expenses, clothing, furniture, and more.
Partner families' monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund held by the affiliate that built the home. This fund is reinvested into the community, as it is used to build more homes for low-income families in need.
Habitat Homeowner Selection
When selecting potential partner families, affiliates consider an applicant’s:
- Level of need
- Willingness to become partners in the program
- Ability to repay the no down-payment, interest-free mortgage that is geared to their income
Future homeowners must also contribute 500 hours of sweat equity, share in the labour of homebuilding, and participate in valuable training and preparation sessions. In return, their lives are transformed by the positive experience of working with their community and by the many benefits that come along with homeownership.
How Habitat for Humanity Keeps Costs Low for Partner Families
Habitat for Humanity manages the cost of new homes through:
- The use of modest designs
- The use of donated materials
- Utilizing volunteer labour
- Ensuring low administration costs
Our Partner Families
Families living below the poverty line who are able to repay an interest-free mortgage can qualify to become a partner family.
Future homeowners must share in the labour of homebuilding, contributing 500 hours of sweat equity, and must participate in valuable training and preparation sessions. In return, their lives are transformed by the positive impact of receiving the hand up of homeownership.
More than 63,000 volunteers work with Habitat for Humanity in Canada every year. Thousands more help to build homes in other countries through our Global Village program. We heavily depend on our volunteers, who may be professional trades-people donating a portion of their time and expertise, or first time builders who have never hammered a single nail.
Volunteers have been a vital part of our history and will continue to be in our ongoing success. If you would like to learn more about volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, please visit our volunteer page.