What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 as a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing
organization whose mission is to work in partnership with people in need to build decent, affordable
housing where they can live and grow into all God intends. Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area
was founded in 1989 and serves Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell and Marshall counties. The local affiliate
has built 91 houses since our founding.
Does Habitat give houses away?
No, but this is a common misconception. Habitat is not a giveaway program. We offer a "hand up" not a
"handout." Obtaining a Habitat home is a joint venture between the community, sponsors and Habitat
partner families who become homeowners. Our partner families purchase their homes with no interest,
no profit mortgages from Habitat. Mortgage payments are then put into a revolving fund to build more
How are the houses built?
Donations or sponsorships by individuals, churches, businesses and organizations cover the cost of
construction materials. Sponsor groups and other volunteers work alongside Habitat's construction
crew to actually build the house.
What are the criteria for Habitat homeownership?
Habitat qualifies partner families based on four criteria: income guidelines; need for a Habitat home;
ability to pay the mortgage; and a willingness to partner with Habitat through "sweat equity."
What is a typical partner family like?
Our partner families all summon incredible discipline and tenacity to be a part of our program. Our
families all have jobs and/or stable income. Each family is required to invest 200-400 hours of "sweat
equity" into the houses of other families, working in Habitat’s ReStore, and in service to the community. Homeowners attend workshops on money management, home maintenance, wills,
insurance and taxes, and landscaping. We do our best to equip families to be successful homeowners
and responsible citizens.
What are Habitat houses like?
Habitat houses are simple, decent and affordable. Most are 1,100-1,300 square feet with two, three or
or four bedrooms, attached garage, full basement and central air conditioning.
How is Habitat good for the family and community?
Homeownership has been proven to improve academic performance of children, reduce family
breakups, improve health conditions, and provide stability for families to advance their careers and
education. Homeownership raises property values versus rental housing. Homeowners also have a
higher propensity for responsible citizenship with a vested interest in their community.
What are the income guidelines for the Habitat program?
Click here to go to the income guideline chart.
How can I receive an application for the Habitat program?
Applications are distributed only at orientation meetings, which are scheduled on an individual basis
after an initial inquiry about the program. Applications submitted currently will be considered for the 2013 - 2014 building season. Orientations are scheduled at the convenience of the applicant and last about an
hour. To begin the application and orientation process, contact Lea Anne Schmidgall at 309 676-6729, ext.6 or e-mail him at