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Habitat Homeownership

Do you want to become a Habitat Homeowner or do you know someone who does?

We are seeking applicants in Indian River County who are serious about becoming homeowners. Applicants must be willing to work hard, complete several classes, be able to pay a mortgage and follow the other guidelines on the road to Habitat homeownership.

How the Program Works

The "American Dream" of homeownership can become a reality for families in need through the work of Indian River Habitat for Humanity. Indian River Habitat for Humanity is a hand up, not a hand out. In addition to monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, also known as “sweat equity” - into building their home and the homes of others.

Watch on YouTube

Video Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:21
Hello, my name is Kimberly Anderson and this is my home. I have not been living here very long. Just a short while ago, I was sharing a bedroom with my two boys in my grandmother's house. Although it was crowded, I didn't have to live in some of the awful places that my neighbors did.

Unknown Speaker 0:39
Now we are all home and a new life by getting here with

Unknown Speaker 0:43
prospective homeowners learn about Habitat for Humanity at orientations held monthly at our facility. It is at this point that many become aware that we do not give away houses. habitat is a hand up program, not a handout. In order to qualify, applicants must meet three requirements. First, they must demonstrate a need for decent housing. Secondly, they must have the ability to repay a no interest mortgage. And third, in addition to working sweat equity, the applicants must attend a series of 12 classes that include budgeting and home maintenance. Background checks are very much part of the selection process. It begins with employment verification. Virtually all of those who qualify have full time jobs in our community. They are people you run across on a daily basis, but credit histories, criminal record checks and home visits are also essential parts of the investigation. Finally, the applicants must be legal residents of the United States and Indian River County as an equal opportunity lender have the 10 must meet all the requirements against discrimination. The family selection committee provides the results of their investigation to the board of directors for final approval of applications. Nearly 90% of the individuals initially interested failed to complete the program.

Unknown Speaker 2:20
Hi, my name is Katie Federico, I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of joy and essentially when I realized that I was accepted to the habitat program,

Unknown Speaker 2:30
I received my official homeowner t shirt and immediately began working on my sweat equity. And I knew I was on my way to providing a safe home for my family.

Unknown Speaker 2:41
At Indian River habitat, prospective homeowners are required to put in 300 hours of sweat equity. 60% of those hours are spent on other people's houses. If there are two adults in a family that the requirement is 500 hours, applicants the Have a physical disability are eligible to work their hours in the home center or at the habitat office.

Unknown Speaker 3:07
It was really hard putting in these hours while I was working full time and taking care of my two sons. On the positive side, I've learned a lot about building a house. I've made friends with other families in the program. And I've met some great volunteers.

Unknown Speaker 3:23
You know, being out in the fresh air is really enjoyable. Working on a house very yet is working with new homeowners, people that are building working on their site, getting hours in and making a new life for themselves. Also, we have a lot of volunteers that are getting so good at building that they're almost professionals. I know that I'm not included in that, but a lot of them are really getting good. But I think the greatest part is the camaraderie that we have here. The give and take and the new friends that we've met on their site. It's really been enjoyable. Habitat volunteers ranging Age from teams to those who are in their 80s. They come from all walks of life. Some come by themselves, others in groups from churches, civic organizations and businesses. Almost all of our volunteers work on the construction site. But there are other ways you can help habitat. There is always office work to be done and committees to serve on. You can even bring snacks to the job site for the morning break. And finally, there's our home center. Although we have some salaried staff, we can always use help in the store and warehouse. habitat is always looking for stuff to sell. And our trucks are constantly roaming the county, picking up furnishings and building materials for the home center. The profits generated by the home center are used to build more homes. Obviously, it takes money to build houses. Sometimes we are able to get assistance from the federal government for infrastructure, and the homeowners are able to get their down payment. So a program called ship, which is administered by the county, and part of the monthly mortgage that the homeowner pays goes back into building homes for future habitat families. However, the lion's share of the money that's used for building houses comes from the great generosity of donors. People like you and me, who are trying to help those that are less fortunate. When a future homeowner sometimes with the help from friends and family, complete 60% of their sweat equity hours, they get to choose their building lot. This is a big exciting step. Habitat builds in several locations within the county at the same time. On occasion, we renovate an existing house such as a foreclosure. We build homes and established neighborhoods or clusters of foreigners Five homes or in small subdivisions. This variety of choice allows the future homeowner to live in a home located in an environment in which the family will be most comfortable. A recent local survey found that while some families prefer to be in an established neighborhood, the majority chooses community living. Under the guidance of professional supervisors, volunteers, who are the very lifeblood of habitat, build our houses. With the active involvement of future owners. We work toward the highest standards of construction and workmanship. Habitat homes must pass the same rigorous inspections as any other house in the county and are built to the stringent standards of the Miami Dade code. In the seven models we build, we incorporate the latest in home building technology from solar hot water heaters to state of the art insulation material. Feels closer to the coast. We have concrete block construction so that our homeowners may benefit from lower insurance rates. In the western part of the county, we use stick construction, which is more cost effective.

Unknown Speaker 7:16
Hi, my name is Ivan, this is my wife aircraft is our three year old son OCL. And I'm a low maintenance crew leader, and I'm a bank teller. We live in grace Meadows in this beautiful home. We were born building our house from the beginning. Before we close, we had to have our debt paid off and 1700 saved or escrow account

Unknown Speaker 7:36
with this. Finally the house was dedicated. We signed the papers got the keys to the front door and we were officially homeowners.

Unknown Speaker 7:45
But we found our relationship with Habitat was not over. If you live in a community as many do, you belong to the homeowners association and have a neighborhood watch. There is a scholarship program for homeowners kids and After School subsidy program to help working parents. We also provide support for the many life issues our residents face on a daily basis.

Unknown Speaker 8:11
It's a great feeling owning my own home and things like this front porch. More importantly, becoming a homeowner had inspired me to think big. This year I have earned my life was product owner certification and next year I'll become a registered nurse. I am very fortunate that habitat came into my life.

Unknown Speaker 8:28
We hope habitat will come into yours as a homeowner or maybe as a donor, or volunteer. Thank you for spending a few moments with us at Indian River Habitat for Humanity.

Transcribed by

Indian River Habitat for Humanity relies on donations from corporations, foundations, churches and individuals to build homes. In return, the homes that are built are sold to each new homeowner at cost and financed with a 20-30 year interest-free mortgage.
Ways to Give | Volunteer

Prospective homebuyers must have:

  • a need for simple, decent affordable housing
  • the ability to pay for and maintain a house
  • the desire to partner with Habitat by showing a willingness to complete 300-500 Sweat Equity hours working on their own house as well an on other Habitat projects
  • the willingness to complete all mandatory classes, including financial management training, provided to help equip homebuyers for homeownership