Local affiliates are community-based Habitat for Humanity organizations that serve a specific area in partnership with, and on behalf of, Habitat for Humanity International. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area, including fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction, and mortgage servicing.
Affiliates are formed by groups of concerned citizens who want to address the problem of poverty housing in their communities. After the community's needs and resources are evaluated to determine the potential success of Habitat's model, the group applies to Habitat for Humanity International for formal affiliation. Although affiliates operate within the framework of the Habitat Affiliate Covenant, they remain independently run nonprofit organizations. There are currently more than 1,500 local affiliates in the U.S - including 37 in Wisconsin - and 550 international affiliates, building homes in over 3,000 communities throughout the world.
Offering a hand up, not a hand out, Habitat affiliates partner with hardworking families to build or rehab safe, decent and affordable homes. Partner families are selected for their need for housing and their ability to pay a mortgage on their homes. Once selected, partner families are required to complete hundreds of sweat equity hours on their homes and the houses of other Habitat families. They are also expected to attend financial literacy training and other requirements as determined by their local affiliates. At the completion of their houses, Habitat homeowners receive a zero percent or low-interest mortgage, often for less than what they were previously paying in rent, helping them build wealth and provide a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Funds from mortgage payments go back into building, rehabbing or repairing additional homes for low-income families.
Critical Home Repair, A Brush with Kindness, and Other Repair Programs
In recent years, a number of our Wisconsin affiliates have recognized a need to provide help to existing homeowners in their communities whose houses are in need of repair and who are unable to complete these repairs on their own. Working with volunteers and sometimes donated materials, these projects are often completed very economically within a few weeks or even days, and homeowners are typically given a small no-interest loan for costs of materials, or in some cases, a grant. Common programs include Aging in Place, A Brush with Kindness, and Rock the Block. Contact your local affiliate to find out what programs they offer.
photo: ©Ezra Millstein/Habitat for Humanity International