Harbor Habitat For Humanity
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785 East Main Street Benton Harbor MI 49022 USA
Harbor habitat for humanity is a christian non-profit housing organization that seeks to eliminate inadequate housing in benton harbor and benton charter township by engaging the community and partnering with families to provide them with a decent place to live.
Construction - harbor habitat for humanity, inc. Has partnered with families and the community to complete the building of over 100 decent, simple, safe, affordable, and new homes since its founding in 1995. Approximately 2,000 construction volunteers assist in the building of these homes each year. The affiliate also tithes 10% of unrestricted funds yearly to habitat international. These funds are used to construct homes in economically depressed areas around the world. In addition to the construction of new homes, the affiliate also has a brush for kindness program which started in 2006. This program assists current non-habitat homeowners in the neighborhoods where new homes are being built with minor repairs (primarily painting and landscaping). The brush for kindness program has performed work on over 20 homes since 2006. Homes are sold to partner families on a no-profit basis with no-interest mortgages repaid over 15 to 25 years. Mortgage payments are an important part of the affiliate's sustainability to build and/or rehab future harbor habitat homes.
family services - habitat's family services philosophy is based on the principle of "a hand-up, not a hand-out" in order to become long-term successful homeowners. Families are selected to partner with the organization based on three criteria 1. ) need - their current housing is inadequate, unsafe, overcrowded and/or unaffordable; 2. ) ability to pay - total household income must be between 30% and 80% of the area median income; 3. ) willingness to partner with harbor habitat - a review of their income, credit history, and rental history must show that they have the disposition to pay for and maintain a home. They must demonstrate the willingness and ability to work with volunteers and staff. Everyone in the home 18 years and older must invest 300 sweat equity hours prior to being able to purchase their home. Approximately 5-10% of the applicants demonstrate the ability to meet all three criteria and are selected for the program. In addition, some selected families are unable to complete the requirements of the program and are not successful in becoming homeowners through the affiliate. Since its founding in 1995, harbor habitat's family services department has meaningfully served approximately 140 local families through its homeownership program including approximately 20 local families during this reporting period. The affiliate through its tithe to habitat international has served approximately 134 international families. As of june 30, 2014, the affiliate held 88 mortgages for homes built as part of their mission.
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