FAQs

What is Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami?

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami is a Christian ministry which builds homes in partnership with low-income families in need of a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami was formed in 1989 and is in the top ten of over 2,000 Habitat affiliates nationwide. This ministry is open to all persons who desire to work to eliminate poverty housing. With people from all walks of life working together, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami builds new relationships and a sense of community as well as sturdy, livable homes.

How does Habitat work? 

Habitat works as a partnership between families in need, volunteers, churches, businesses and other organizations and individuals. Simple, low-cost homes are built using contributions, donated materials, and volunteer and homeowner labor. The houses are sold at cost and with no-interest financing to low-income families who have a stable income but are unable to qualify for a conventional mortgage. This makes it possible for families who otherwise could not afford to buy their own home to realize their dreams of homeownership.

Where does Habitat build? 

We are currently building - or planning to build - in Overtown, Little Haiti, Princeton (between Cutler Ridge and Homestead ) and Liberty City. More than 950 Habitat houses already exist in these communities, as well as in Florida City, Little River, Highland Park, Homestead, Goulds, the City of South Miami, South Miami Heights, and West Perrine.

How are Habitat homes built? 

The homebuilding effort is heavily dependent upon volunteer labor. Homeowners themselves invest hundreds of hours of sweat equity into the construction of their homes, and into the homes of other Habitat homeowners. Habitat purchases land and materials with donations from individuals, churches, service groups, businesses and foundations. Habitat does seek government support in land acquisition and infrastructure improvements. Homeowner mortgage payments are channeled back into the construction of additional homes.

What kind of homes does Habitat build? 

Miami Habitat builds strong, simple, energy efficient houses. Most homes have 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, but there are also some 4 bedroom, 2 bath homes. The houses are primarily single-story concrete block homes, although some two-story models are currently being built in certain areas.

Does Habitat build rental units or multi-family housing? 

Typically, Miami Habitat builds single-family homes that are sold to the applicant upon completion. 
In a handful of rare instances, Miami Habitat has also built multi-family housing in the form of condominium units. Because part of Miami Habitat's core mission is to facilitate homeownership, the organization does not build rental units.

Do Habitat houses allow people to move from poverty to plush new houses? 

Habitat's philosophy is to build simple, decent homes. Any newly built house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been living in poverty-level conditions. However, Habitat houses are not extravagant by any means.

How much does a Habitat home cost? 

The homes are sold on a no-profit basis and cost about $133,000. Applicants must be able to provide an initial down payment of about $1,500 and pay a no-interest mortgage payment of approximately $600 to $800 a month.

Can Habitat homeowners sell their houses and make a large profit because of the original selling price? 

Habitat retains the "Right of First Refusal" to purchase back any home if a homeowner needs to sell. Habitat buys the home back at a price that shares with the homeowner the appreciation in the value of the house.

How are Habitat homeowners selected? 

A family selection committee reviews all applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process based on housing need, ability to repay the loan, and willingness to partner with Miami Habitat.

Does Habitat for Humanity give houses to poor people? 

Habitat houses are not given to anyone. The houses are built with those in need and then sold to the homeowner partners. Mortgage payments are kept affordable for families who would otherwise be unable to qualify for conventional financing through low down payments, no-profit/no-interest loans and low monthly payments. Homeowners also invest hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" building their own home and those of neighbors.

What is sweat equity? 

Sweat equity is the investment that homeowners make in their houses prior to moving in by spending hundreds of hours building their own home and the homes of others. Sweat equity reduces the cost of the home while increasing the personal pride of ownership for their house and community, and fosters the development of partnerships and positive relationships with other people in the community.

Where is the Habitat office? Work sites? 

The Miami Habitat for Humanity office is located at 3800 NW 22nd Avenue in Miami. At any given time, there are several Habitat projects underway across Miami-Dade County.

Where does the money to build come from? 

The money for building comes from two main sources: donations and mortgage payments. Donations from individuals, foundations, organizations and businesses are used to purchase land and materials. The no-interest mortgage payments made by current Habitat homeowners also support the construction of additional Habitat homes.

How can I help Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami? 

You can help by volunteering your time towards construction or office-related tasks or making a donation of land, materials, or money. Your involvement does make a difference. Give us a call at (305) 634-3628 if you would like to help.

Are contributions tax-deductible? 

Yes, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami is an incorporated, non-profit organization and is tax-exempted under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Of every contribution, 92% is invested in program services, 7% in administration, and 1% in fundraising.