Habitat for Humanity is an organization very dear to our hearts. We meet people all the time that can't afford what they need or are in bad situations and are in need. We work with families that have sold a home they've lived in for many years, have raised their children, experienced happiness and sorrow and created a memories in. We understand the value of a place to call home. And this is why it is crucial for everyone to have the opportunity. Habitat for Humanity also strives for building with green and energy efficient practices. As EcoBrokers, that is something that we value, support and promote too. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families.
Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat houses. Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest their own labor -- sweat equity -- into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. Families are required to put in a minimum of 325 sweat equity hours for a two-parent family and 300 sweat equity hours for a single-parent family. Each Madison WI family must also attend educational courses on how to maintain a home, landscaping, budgeting and insurance. The combination of holding down construction expense and eliminating mortgage interest makes these homes affordable. Including property taxes and insurance, the Habitat homeowner's monthly mortgage payment is no more than 25 percent of their gross income. And with a historically strong Madison area real estate market, this is an amazing accomplishment. It is made possible by Madison's strong community and desire to create affordable housing.
We all had a wonderful day working in the hot sun and learned that Darcy really knows how to use a saw (and prepare an offer while on a break), Carlos is up for any challenge, Sara is a great cheerleader (and can pound a nail pretty well too), Julie is queen of proper measurments, and Kathryn was the super glue that held us all together!