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!

Habitat main office closed July 20 at 12:00 pm (except for finance office). We're preparing for 1Berkshire Chamber Nite at ReStore. Click here for details, and see you at 5:00 pm!
 

ATTENTION VOLUNTEERS

Friday, July 22
Please join us at 5-7 Hall Place from 8:00 to noon for construction.
Saturday, July 23
Volunteers are welcome to join us at 5-7 Hall Place from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are also hosting volunteers from Crane & Company to build on site. Call (413) 442-3181 to let us know you're coming.
 
Park in the lot at the corner of Seymour Street and Madison Ave, then cross safely to the job site. Do not park near the house so our construction vehicle has space. For more information, call Habitat at (413) 442-3181.

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Click here to read our July newsletter, and be sure to sign up to be the first to know about Habitat happenings.

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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.

Building Dignity

Habitat builds homes with families that demonstrate a willingness to partner with us. These families invest hundreds of sweat equity hours and at the end of the day, the mortgage they pay helps fund the construction of more Habitat homes. It’s easy to feel good about that!

Building Relationships

Politics, professions, ethnicity, religion and economics all fall away at Habitat. We invite people to find common ground through shared goals and collaboration.

Building Community
Habitat seeks to end poverty housing by transforming whole communities, house by house, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood. Our new Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative allows us to serve more families by expanding our offerings to include critical home repairs and rehabilitation programs.

Our homebuyer partners must go through a rigorous qualification and selection process. Our homebuyer partners must have earnings and attend financial literacy training that teaches them to maintain a budget. They must invest 400 or 500 hours (or about a year) of sweat equity in the building of their own home as well as the homes of others. During sweat equity they learn home maintenance and upkeep.

And guess what? After all that:

They still have to pay a monthly mortgage.