INTRODUCTION TO CENTRAL BERKSHIRE HABITAT
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization that builds strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.
Founded in 1992, Central Berkshire Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
People in your community and all over the world partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. With our help, those homeowners achieve the independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.
We do not give away homes. Our Habitat Homebuyer partners must:
Go through a rigorous qualification and selection process.
Have a qualifying income and attend our Building for Tomorrow financial literacy training program.
Invest 400 (for a single person) or 500 (for dual heads of households) hours of sweat equity in the building of their own home as well as the homes of others. During sweat equity, homebuyer partners learn home maintenance and upkeep.
Pay their mortgage on time.
We do not give away homes. We help those who are just a little short of realizing the American Dream of Homeownership. It's a hand UP, not a hand OUT!
HABITAT FACTS AND FICTION
FICTION: Habitat for Humanity gives houses to poor people.
FACT: Houses are not given to anyone. Habitat for Humanity builds houses with people in need with volunteer labor and donated materials. Then, Habitat sells the houses to homebuyer partners through no-profit loans. Habitat acts as the bank, and mortgage payments are zero interest and no more than 30% of the family's household income. Homeowners typically have incomes that are 40-60% of the median income in the area. They are required to invest 400-500 sweat equity hours building their home and other Habitat homes.
FICTION: Habitat houses lower neighborhood property values.
FACT: Many studies have shown that affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. Habitat's approach to affordable housing improves neighborhoods by strengthening community spirit and increasing the tax base, while building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat construction. A recent study found that Habitat homeowners were considered to be good neighbors by other members of their community.
FICTION: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
FACT: Like most people with mortgages to pay, Habitat homeowners must have a source of income. In the United States, the large majority of Habitat homeowners work at low-wage jobs in the service or health industry. For example, the nurse who cares for your family in a hospital could be a Habitat homeowner. Sometimes homeowners work more than one job to pay the mortgage. A few families are on public assistance or disability.
Want to debunk more Habitat myths?
Click here for the flyer and watch our video!
Friday, August 26
Volunteers are needed to work at 5-7 Hall Place from 8:00 am to noon installing insulation and siding the exterior of the home.
Saturday, August 27
Volunteers are needed at 5-7 Hall Place from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm to install insulation and siding! We are hoping for up to 5 skilled volunteers to join this task. Please call (413) 442-3181 by Thursday, 8/25 to let us know you're coming so we have an accurate headcount for lunch.
Tentative tasks include:
Install foam sheets, spray foam, tape foam, install siding, soffits
Begin siding the exterior of the home
Complete installation of plywood floors
Interior framing - partitions (door end of divider closet, cellar entry way, ceilings in kitchens)
Unique Opportunity: 2 Bedroom condo for sale for $116K on Pontoosuc Lake, only for first time homebuyers! Purchasing this home will provide another family with affordable homeownership at a low cost to Habitat.
Call Carolyn Valli at (413) 281-5051 to learn more and apply.
Click here to read our August newsletter, and be sure to sign up to be the first to know about Habitat happenings.
Enter to win our raffle to a Patriots or Red Sox game this fall! Drawing is on September 12. Click here to buy your tickets!
Thank you to Otto's Breakfast & Deli and Subway in Pittsfield for being Golden Hammer Restaurant Partners! Click here to learn how your business can support Habitat.