Homeowner Q & As

What are the origins of Alachua Habitat for Humanity?
Alachua Habitat is one of over 1,400 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical ministry based on Christian principles. Incorporated in 1986, construction on the first home began in 1988.

How many homes have been built?
As of June 1, 2015, Alachua Habitat has completed 125 houses. The organization has been building throughout Alachua County for 29 years. In December 2003, groundbreaking took place for Celebration Oaks, a 30-home Habitat community in southeast Gainesville off Hawthorne Road. The final home in the Habitat development was completed in the fall of 2011.

How are homes financed?
Generous individuals, businesses, churches and civic groups donate money, materials and labor for home construction. Homeowners purchase their home through a no-interest, 20–25 year loan with a $1,000 down payment. Mortgage payments are recycled to build more houses for very low-income families who cannot afford conventional financing.

How are families chosen for homeownership participation and what is their partnership with Habitat?
Interested families submit an application to the Family Selection Committee, which examines the need for housing, ability to pay, and willingness to be a partner. Applications are handed out at the Home Owner Orientation meeting which all applicants are required to attend. (See schedule for meeting dates and locations)

Families are required to contribute a total of 400 hours of “sweat equity." This includes 100 hours of community service, 100 hours working to build someone elses' home and 200 hours working on the construction of their own home.

Volunteers on the Family Support Committee act as friends, helpers, listeners, and sometimes advocates for the family. Families are chosen without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.

What is a home sponsor?
Churches, businesses, civic groups, or groups of individuals can underwrite and build a home or partially fund a home with others.

How is the government involved?
Government funds and assistance are accepted for construction, the purchase of land, and for infrastructure, such as utility hook ups, land improvement, roads, and sidewalks. Federal HOME program funds, Downtown Redevelopment Agency funds and Community Development Block Grant funds have also been used for land acquisition or setting the scene for construction.

Who controls and manages Alachua Habitat for Humanity?
An ecumenical board of meets monthly to monitor operations and determine policy. Board members work on specialized committees with other volunteers to handle tasks such as family selection, resource development, construction, publicity, etc. The Executive Committee meets semi-monthly to deal with current issues. A full-time Executive Director is employed to oversee and coordinate daily operations. The Emeritus Board members consist of long-time volunteers who continue to donate their time and talents on an as needed basis.

How is Alachua Habitat involved in Habitat International's mission?
Alachua Habitat supports Habitat for Humanity International's tithing program and donates money that is used specifically to build homes in third world countries.