When was Habitat for Humanity of Collier County started?
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County has been serving families since April 1978 and has built more than 1,700 homes to date. It is one of the oldest and most successful affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, which was organized in Americus, Georgia in 1976. Locally, a small, professional staff manages the general programs with assistance from a Board of Directors made up of men and women in Collier County who volunteer their time to Habitat.
How are homes built?
Heavily dependent upon volunteer labor, Habitat purchases land and materials with donations from individuals, congregations, service groups, businesses and foundations. Homeowners are required to invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” building homes. In addition, they make a $1,000 down payment along with a $500 insurance deposit. Homes are sold at cost to qualifying partner families with a no-interest loan. Mortgage payments are used to purchase land and materials for more homes. Additionally, in 2008 this affiliate began purchasing (non-Habitat) homes out of foreclosure and bringing them up to our “like-new” standard in partnership with hard-working families. After the completion of 250 of these homes, our rehab initiative has wrapped up and we have returned to new construction in Habitat neighborhoods.
Are contributions to Habitat tax-deductible?
Yes. Habitat is incorporated as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization 501(c)(3).
How are families selected?
Qualifying applicants must be legal residents of the United States, living or working in Collier County for at least one year prior to application, and be living in inadequate conditions. A volunteer family selection committee reviews all applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process, based on housing need, ability to repay the loan and the ability to partner with Habitat by working sweat equity hours. Every day Habitat meets families who live in overcrowded and substandard housing.
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County will provide to all applicants, equal opportunity to obtain housing regardless of religion, race, color, gender, physical or mental disabilities, national origin or familial status. HFHCC will not discriminate in providing opportunity for sale or financing of housing and will assist all persons who feel they have been discriminated against because of religion, race, color, gender, physical or mental disabilities, national origin, or familial status to seek equity under federal and state laws by providing information on how to file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Rights.
How can I help Habitat?
You can help by volunteering at Habitat’s construction sites; serving on the Selection Committee; teaching classes for partner families; making a donation of land, materials, or money; working in the Habitat Home Store; donating furniture; or simply by spreading the word. Your involvement does make a difference.