Constructing Homes. Building Hope.
When people think of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville, they think about building houses. And they should. Because since we began in 1985 we've built or renovated over 450 homes in Metro Louisville and Oldham County. But, while building is what we do, the reason we do it is to change lives. We build homes because they are essential building blocks for families and communities — especially when coupled with strong relationships and healthy neighborhoods.
While it took us 30 years to build 450 houses, we're working tirelessly to reach 600 homes in 5 years. A lofty goal, no doubt, but one that will make a difference for our partner families, the volunteers who help build homes for these families, and for our entire city. We want to build great homes, strong relationships, and healthy neighborhoods. This gives everyone the opportunity to live and grow into all that God intends.
No matter where we build, we're a part of the neighborhood, whether it's just putting up one house on a block or reinventing an entire streetscape. As stated in our mission, “Habitat brings people together”; we work with people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities. We invite you to join us as we continue to build on our success to help make our great city even better.
Habitat's Mission Statement
Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville brings people together to build homes, communities and hope through housing solutions of home ownership, community development and home repair.
What is Habitat for Humanity?
A nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry, Habitat for Humanity builds simple and affordable homes in partnership with those in need of decent housing. Habitat sells houses to qualified families at no profit with zero-interest mortgage loans. The Kentucky Housing Corporation services mortgage payments pro bono for Habitat Louisville.
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville was founded in 1985 by a group of people concerned with the lack of affordable housing in Louisville. In 1986, a house in need of renovation was donated and the group began its first project. It took the consortium of volunteers . . . mostly from the faith community in Louisville . . . two years to complete the first project. Since then, we've built or renovated over 450 homes in Louisville and Oldham County.
Through volunteer labor and the donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and renovates simple, decent houses for people who make between 30%-80% of the area's median income. All partner families must be employed and meet credit guidelines in order to qualify. In addition to a down payment and a monthly mortgage, they are required to invest 400 hours of sweat equity in their home and in the homes of other partner families. Houses are sold at no profit with a zero interest, 20-year loan. We currently have a foreclosure rate of just under two percent, and continue to work with all of our families to ensure success.
Myths and Facts
Habitat for Humanity is an often-misunderstood organization. How is it funded? Who purchases the homes we build? How does it affect my community? And how does Jimmy Carter fit in? We hope to address many of the myths and deliver the facts here.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity offers a homeownership opportunity to families unable to obtain conventional house financing — generally, those whose income is 80 percent or less of the area's median income. Partner homeowner families contribute 400 hours of sweat equity into the construction of their homes or another Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville home and pay a monthly mortgage. Because Habitat houses are built using volunteers and many donations, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
Myth: Habitat houses reduce property values in a neighborhood.
Fact: Low-cost housing studies in the United States and Canada show affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have increased property values and local government tax income.
Myth: Only African Americans get Habitat for Humanity homes.
Fact: Habitat builds houses in partnership with those in need — regardless of race, religion, or any other difference. Criteria for homeownership can be found on the Own a Home page.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity International dictates policy and practices for every local Habitat organization.
Fact: Habitat operates through locally governed affiliates with a strong emphasis on grassroots organizations and local autonomy. Habitat affiliates are independent, nonprofit organizations that operate within specific service areas in a covenant relationship with Habitat for Humanity International.
Myth: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.
Fact: Some, but not all, Habitat homeowners receive SNAP or other government funds. All homebuyers must meet income requirements in order to be considered potential partner families.
Myth: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.
Fact: Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization. However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion, or ethnic group in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat's abiding belief that God's love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths or no faith who actively embrace Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.
Fact: Habitat is an ecumenical Christian housing organization. It is neither an arm of the government nor an arm of any particular church or denomination.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Fact: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, GA by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, GA), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization's house-building work. Each year they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.
Myth: Habitat houses allow people to move from poverty to plush new houses.
Fact: Any new house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been living in sub-standard conditions. But Habitat houses are not extravagant by any standard. Habitat’s philosophy is to build simple, decent homes. Generally speaking, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville homes range from approximately 1,000 square feet to 1,400 square feet in size. Houses have three or four bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.
Myth: Sub-standard housing is such a large problem that it can never be solved.
Fact: Sub-standard housing is a huge issue. But Habitat believes that by continuing to build houses with those in need, working with other committed groups, and putting the issue of housing in the hearts and minds of compassionate people everywhere, the problem can be solved.