The proven Habitat model has empowered 168 families in Philadelphia to purchase homes, and housed over 1 million people worldwide.
Habitat for Humanity is founded on the idea of partnership housing – where those in need of adequate shelter work side by side with volunteers to build homes. Our homes are often built with donated materials, donated property, and the support of house sponsors. The traditional model for Habitat housing relies on this three-tiered partnership between our families, donors, and volunteers. Much like a triangle, one part of the organization could not exist without the others -they work together to solve the problem of affordable housing throughout Philadelphia.
Habitat Philadelphia practices this model of partnership between families, volunteers, and donors to build decent, affordable housing locally because we believe this model offers a realistic solution to the affordable housing crisis here in Philadelphia.
The Need in Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, one in four families is forced to decide between paying for rent or food, medical bills or transportation to work. This high cost burden forces families to make tough decisions daily that have a lasting negative impact on their lives, their children, and their communities.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development if you spend over 30% of your annual income on housing, you may have trouble paying for necessities such as food, electricity, and healthcare.
Based on the Fair Market Rent in Philadelphia and the annual income of an individual being paid minimum wage, one would need to work 97 hours/week (2.2 full-time minimum wage jobs) to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia.
The lack of decent, affordable housing forces families to pay excessive amounts of money to rent inadequate, overcrowded housing.
Habitat Philadelphia focuses on home ownership as its solution to affordable housing. By offering no-interest mortgages and accepting sweat equity as a down payment, we are able to offer affordable homeownership opportunities to families who would otherwise not qualify for a mortgage.
For a family previously spending around 30% of their income on housing, an affordable mortgage is a crucial change that allows them to spend money on other important things such as healthcare, education, electricity, food and other basic human needs.