Frequently Asked Questions
What is your connection to Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the world and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. We are an independently-funded local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Donations to Habitat for Humanity International fund housing programs overseas while donations to your local Habitat for Humanity affiliate (e.g. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco) fund housing programs in your own community.
How is Jimmy Carter involved with Habitat for Humanity?
Jimmy Carter is our most famous volunteer! His involvement with Habitat for Humanity began in 1984 when the former president led a work group to New York City. Ever since, both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter give a week of their time each year to build homes and raise awareness of the critical need for affordable housing.
How does the Habitat for Humanity program work?
Habitat for Humanity builds simple and decent houses through volunteer labor, the "sweat equity" of our partner families, and donations of money and materials. Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no profit and are financed with zero-interest loans.
What is the cost of a Habitat home?
Because of donated land and volunteer labor, we are able to reduce the cost of building our homes. Also, our construction costs are offset by in-kind donations. Many companies generously donate equipment and services to us. For example, Hathaway Dinwiddie poured the foundations for our homes in South San Francisco at no charge, and Rudolph & Sletten donated a pick-up truck. In general, Habitat Great San Francisco homes range between $200,000 and $300,000.
How does Habitat Greater San Francisco obtain the land?
In most cases, the land is donated by the city. This is always preferred so that we can keep the purchase price of our homes as low as possible for our future homeowners. If we must acquire the land, we look for opportunities to purchase at below-market rates.
Are your homes green?
Yes! Habitat Greater San Francisco homes are constructed with sustainability in mind. Our homes incorporate a variety of green features including engineered lumber, energy efficient fixtures and appliances, and drought-tolerant landscaping. Additionally, our use of low-VOC paints improves overall air quality and helps reduce respiratory illnesses. Through the generous support of PG&E and GRID Alternatives, many of our homes also incorporate photovoltaic solar panels. These solar energy systems significantly reduce homeowners' utility costs while reducing their dependence on fossil fuels as well.
Who are the Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco partner families?
Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco works with an underserved community in Marin, San Francisco and the Peninsula. The Habitat for Humanity approach encourages self-help by providing a "hand up, not a hand out." In order to partner with Habitat, families must meet income guidelines, have the ability to repay a mortgage, demonstrate a need for housing and complete at least 500 hours of "sweat equity" to build their own home.