How a Habitat for Humanity Home is Built
Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent housing with the help of partner homeowners. The key ingredients for a successful Habitat for Humanity home are donated land and a group of energetic volunteers who are willing to give their time and talent to help plan, raise funds and construct a house.
First Things First
The genesis of a Habitat for Humanity home can come from several sources. A group of like-minded residents in a community may collaborate to bring a Habitat home to their town or city. Often, a city or town donates surplus land to Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts with the intention of adding a home to their affordable housing stock. Sometimes land is deeded to Habitat for Humanity by individuals, corporations, banks or other organizations. Corporations or civic groups can sponsor a Habitat for Humanity home by donating the funds needed to build all or part of a house. Often their employees or members also provide the labor!
Before a Shovel Hits the Dirt
More than 70% of the work on a Habitat for Humanity home is done long before the first shovelful of dirt is dug. Volunteers first organize a local partner committee to begin raising funds and obtaining donations of new materials, professional services and land, if a lot hasn't already been donated. There are many behind-the-scenes volunteers at work too - helping with public relations, supporting the Habitat office, partnering with our homeowners, area churches, temples and mosques. Volunteers don't have to use a hammer to help out.
Start a Local Partner Committee in your town!
Local Partner Committees bring together volunteers who work to obtain a building site for a Habitat house, raise awareness and support for a Habitat project in their town, and raise the funds to build the Habitat house.
Contact Executive Director, Carolyn Read, 978-348-2749, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It costs $91.66 per square foot for us to build a simple 1,200 square foot home - far below current market rates. Funds can come from grants, private foundations, community preservation funds, event proceeds, tax deductible individual donations and corporate sponsorships, etc. A goal of approximately $85,000 must be raised before construction can begin. Tax deductible donations of in-kind professional services and building materials for the design, excavation, foundation, lumber, plumbing and heating, appliances, landscaping, roofing, and the like can offset much of the expense. It can take several months or even years to reach the fundraising goal.
Once funding is in place, a public groundbreaking is planned and the building can begin! We work with volunteers to keep our homes affordable. Our construction volunteers can sign up online through our website for work shifts, and once onsite, they hone their construction skills under the direction of the licensed Habitat for Humanity construction manager. Our volunteers also work alongside our homeowner-partners, who put in hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" in building their own home. Volunteers from all walks of life can help make a home a reality for a family in need. Experience is not required, just energy, a willingness to learn, and ability to work as part of a team. Habitat provides the tools and materials - volunteers provide the heart.
Non-construction volunteers are needed at a building site as well. Lunch and snack providers are the most popular people on the site when they show up with delicious things to eat! We also need volunteer site hosts for the days we have corporate volunteer groups joining us. The site host represents Habitat for Humanity on the construction site - assisting the site supervisor, helping organize and sign in the volunteers and generally making the day pleasant and fulfilling. Training is required. Please contact the Habitat office for more information.
Want to Volunteer or Donate?
At Last, Home Sweet Home
Nothing is more gratifying than seeing a family get a fresh start. Once the house is finished and landscaped, a public dedication ceremony is planned. It's a true celebration! The lives of families are changed forever as they experience the pride and responsibility of home ownership. Children thrive as they live in secure, well-built homes. Volunteers and donors experience the pride and solidarity of accomplishing worthwhile goals. Neighborhoods are revitalized and communities benefit from committed new homeowners and an improved tax base.