Frequently Asked Questions
Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area would like to dispel some of the common misconceptions about what our organization does.
Does Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area give homes away?
Answer: No – We go through quite an extensive process to make sure we choose homeowners who will partner with us. Our program is not a give-away. We require that families complete 250-500 Sweat Equity hours to show their hard work and dedication. We also offer our families a 20 year interest-free mortgage that they have to make regular monthly payments on. These payments are under $600 a month and include principle, taxes, and home insurance. We cannot take someone from homeless to home – but we can provide them with the resources needed to become a strong candidate for our program!
How do you prepare your partner families for home-ownership?
Answer: Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area believes that there is strength in knowledge. We have 12 mandatory classes that our partner families must complete before they become Habitat homeowners. These classes include: Financial Classes, Neighborhood Classes, Home Maintenance Classes, and Personal Wellbeing Classes. We have all of our families go through debt counseling as well. Our mission is to prepare our families for success. We give them the education and resources they need to become strong, independent, and empowered homeowners.
Why does Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area build new houses for their home-owners instead of renovating existing properties?
Answer: Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area builds new houses for several reasons. As a Christian organization, we feel compelled to give the best we have to offer to our homeowners. We also have found, from previous years in which we have done renovations, that building new houses is more economically responsible. Mold, asbestos, lead abatement, and faulty wiring can really add up in renovation costs! Therefore, it is safer and more affordable for us to build new houses. Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area is in preparations with Habitat for Humanity International to start a program here called “A Brush With Kindness” which will allow us to reach out to more homeowners in our community. This program, although not a full renovation program, will allow us to do external repairs for homeowners who need a little extra help. We will paint, repair, and do landscaping for families who partner with us. We are so excited to get this program up and going!
What does a typical Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area home cost?
Answer: Depending on the location and size of the home, our houses have appraised for $80,000 to $130,000. This price is greater than the costs of the supplies needed to make it! The supplies and skilled labor cost us roughly $75,000 to $80,000. The labor that is supplied by our wonderful volunteers helps to maintain a lower construction cost and saves us approximately $40,000 per build.
Can Habitat home-owners sell their homes to make a large profit?
Answer: No. Our families pay a first mortgage of $75,000 to $80,000, when the appraised value is really $80,000 to $130,000. Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area places a second deed of trust, called a “silent second” on the home for the $40,000 difference. It is called a “silent second” because the homeowner pays no payments on this amount. Should the homeowner decide to sell the house, they would still owe what remains on their first deed of trust and also this “silent second.”
Since Habitat homes are considered affordable, are they lacking in quality?
Answer: Absolutely not! Our mission is to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing. We believe in giving the best of ourselves to our partner families and Habitat homeowners. Quality is a high priority! We are heavily regulated and are checked and double checked in every step of the house building process. We hire skilled labor for the excavation, electrical, heating and cooling, and plumbing. We are Energy-Star rated and achieve the highest standards in the industry.
What happens if a home-owner falls behind on their payments?
Answer: Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area works with our families to avoid delinquencies on a case by case basis. Through debt counseling, open communication, and budget preparation we do our best to work out their financial problems and keep our homeowners in their Habitat homes. If a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage we must follow the standard policies of the legal system. Because of the care taken in the selection process and the partnership developed with applicants, we have little problem with defaults on mortgages.
Is Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria Area a Government agency? Do you receive money from the government?
Answer: No, Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria area is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization. However, we work closely with the local government to make affordable home ownership possible in our community. We partner with the City of Peoria to receive Community Housing and Development Organization (CHDO) funds annually. We receive the bulk of our funding through private donations, United Way Grants, corporate sponsorships, and faith partnerships
What is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore?
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
Does Habitat for Humanity take donations?
Habitat depends on financial donations to fund our work. These donations help families build a place they can call home. Visit our donation page here
We also have local home improvement stores called Habitat ReStores, which sell reusable and surplus building materials, furniture and appliances to the public. The money made from these sales is used to help families build a better future. For more information about our ReStores, click here.
For large corporations wishing to make bulk donations of goods and materials, please visit our In-Kind donation page here.
For vehicle donations, please visit our Cars for Homes page here.
Is Habitat for Humanity a Christian organization?
Yes, we are a global nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We have a policy of building with people in need regardless of race or religion. We welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.