Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg?
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg is an ecumenical Christian non-profit organization working in partnership with God’s people to build simple, decent and affordable housing for people in need.
What is the vision of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg?
To eliminate substandard housing in the Greater Fredericksburg area by building and promoting high quality, affordable housing that enhances neighborhoods and communities.
How is Habitat Funded?
100% of donor contributions go directly to our home building program. The building program is funded through partnerships with the faith community, corporations, foundations, community organizations and individuals. It costs HFHGF approximately $88,000 to build one Habitat home.
Does Habitat for Humanity give away homes?
No, homes are not given to anyone. Habitat is not a charity or a “hand-out” but instead it is a “hand-up” program that effectively empowers families, lifting them out of the hopelessness of poverty and substandard, unsafe housing. Each Habitat homeowner in the Greater Fredericksburg area contributes 300 hours of “sweat equity” to build their own home and those of their neighbors. Habitat homes are sold to homeowners at no profit.
How is Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg able to build affordable homes?
Volunteers! Construction of Habitat homes is made possible through the labor of our homeowners working side by side with community volunteers every year. Volunteers help build the homes, raise funds, provide lunch for volunteers at the work site, work on our committees and do much, much more. Habitat homes are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sales price and no interest charged on the mortgage.
What populations does Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg serve?
HFHGF is chartered to serve residents of Gillespie County (approx. pop. 24,000) and to build within the county perimeters. We serve low-income families whose income is 50-75% of the Area Median Income. We serve those in need regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, gender or any other difference – who meet three criteria: need; ability to repay a no-interest, no-profit mortgage; and a willingness to partner with Habitat.
Does Habitat for Humanity homes lower neighborhood property values?
Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat for Humanity believes its approach to affordable housing can greatly improve neighborhoods and communities by strengthening community spirit, increasing the tax base, and building better citizenship through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat construction.
Can Habitat homeowners sell their homes and make a large profit because of the original cost?
Habitat protects the equity in the home through restrictive mortgage documents and deed restrictions. Through these documents the dream of homeownership is made possible, while a windfall profit to the homeowner if resale becomes necessary is restricted. In essence, a Habitat homeowner does not realize the full equity of the home until the mortgage is paid off over a 20 year time period. Through these restrictions, Habitat is able to sustain the affordability of our homes.
How does Habitat benefit the community?
In addition to the low-income families who become homeowners each year, the Fredericksburg community realizes substantial benefit from Habitat homes: The property tax base increases and families have more income available to contribute to the growth of the Fredericksburg economy. Many Habitat homeowners invest their savings from monthly housing costs for additional education and training which will increase their earning potential. The Habitat homes catalyze improvement by prompting neighboring homeowners to begin to clean up and beautify their existing properties and buildings, creating more of a community environment in which families will take pride. The Texas Association of Homebuilders reported in 1997 that children of homeowners were more likely to be in school at the age of 17 than children of renters. Similarly, children of homeowners were more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to become pregnant during their teenage years.
How does Habitat benefit the community?
HFHGF is privately funded and does not use government funding for the building of homes. HFHGF does accept government funding to assist with the cost of land, infrastructure, administrative expenses and site preparation.
How many homes has Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg built?
Since our founding in 1995, HFHGF has completed construction on 16 affordable homes in the Greater Fredericksburg area.