Frequently Asked Questions

What is Habitat for Humanity International?

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry. Through the help of volunteers and donations, Habitat works to provide affordable housing for those less fortunate.

To make this possible, Habitat for Humanity invites individuals from all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses for families who are in need.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda.

Today, Habitat for Humanity has built over 350,000 houses which provide shelter to more than 1.75 million people.

 

What is the Northern Saratoga, Warren, and Washington County chapter?

This chapter of Habitat for Humanity is a smaller, volunteer driven organization that maintains and deals with the ministry’s work in Warren, Washington, and Northern Saratoga counties.

 

Does Habitat for Humanity give away homes?

No. In addition to a small down payment and interest-free monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

The house is then sold to the partner families at no profit and is financed with affordable loans provided by the Habitat chapter.

 

How is a Habitat house built and who pays for the construction?

A Habitat house is built primarily through the use of volunteer labor, although we do use paid labor for certain parts of the build. We also employ a seasoned construction professional to oversee the build.

Habitat pays for the costs of the construction and the funds come from several sources. The cash inflow from the mortgages of other Habitat homeowners is used to support construction efforts, as well as donations received by Habitat. We are also fortunate to receive donations of time and materials and generous discounts from area contractors and building supply companies.

 

Do I have to be a Christian to become a Habitat Homeowner?

The family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising, marketing and family selection program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

 

What if I have a lot of debt?

We use guidelines to determine applicants’ ability and willingness to repay the mortgage. These guidelines allow for debt appropriate to family income and require a credit history that reflects the applicants’ willingness to repay obligations according to terms. We will work with applicants to deal with situations where they have had previous credit issues and often work with families over an extended period in order to address detrimental credit history.

 

What does a Habitat house cost?

While there are various factors that affect the cost of a Habitat house, these houses are built to be affordable for low-income families, as there is no profit included in the sale price and no interest charged on the mortgage. It is also built with volunteer labor and we often receive generous donations of supplies or services for the build, all of which help to reduce the cost of building a Habitat home.

 

How are donations distributed and used?

Donations, whether to a local affiliate or to HFHI, are used at the donor’s wishes. Donations received by HFHI that are designated to a specific affiliate or project are forwarded to that affiliate or project. Undesignated gifts are used in the area that they are most needed.

Donations to The Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties Chapter can be sent to:

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties P.O. Box 4206 Queensbury, NY 12804 (518) 793-7484

 

How do I apply to be considered for a Habitat House?

To apply for a Habitat House, select the “Applications” tab located at the top of our site. This page provides links to the Application, the Required Items that must be submitted with your application, and Sweat Equity requirements. It also identifies some of the guidelines that the Family Selection Committee will use to review your application. After reading, click “application” near the bottom of the page. Fill out the form, attach copies of the required items and mail it to us for consideration. Please note that applications cannot be considered unless all of the required items are provided. Feel free to call the office or email the Family Selection Chairperson (familyselection@mail.glensfallshabitat.org) with any questions you may have.

 

How do I sign up to volunteer?

To sign up as a volunteer, click here.

Some things to know about volunteering to help with the building of a Habitat house by our chapter. We are a small all-volunteer chapter, and only build one house at a time. Construction takes place on Saturdays during the summer and fall months. Our Volunteer Coordination committee works very hard to try to match the work needs with dates and skills that volunteers have provided us, but because of construction schedule, the type of work being done on a given weekend and the number of volunteers needed, we may not always be able to match volunteers with specific dates or specific tasks requested. Please also note that in addition to the construction work during a build, we need other help as well, such as preparing lunches for the work crew.

 

Can children under 18 volunteer on a Habitat build site?

Yes, but subject to certain restrictions. First, they must be a minimum of 14 years old to work on site.  Children between 14 and 16 can do limited work such as landscaping; no construction activity. Children between 16 and 18 can engage in general construction activities, but cannot do excavation or demolition or work with power tools. Children under 14 may be on site to help with lunches and snacks, under the supervision of an adult.

Parents of anyone working or present on the job site must first sign a release and waiver of liability form before their child comes on site.

 

Do you accept donations of used building materials or appliances?

Unfortunately, we do not. Our chapter does not operate a Habitat ReSTore and we do not have the volunteer base or storage space to take such donations.  We recommend that you contact the Albany chapter (518-462-2993), which does operate a Habitat ReStore. The address for the Habitat ReStore is:

Capital District HFH ReStore 454 N Pearl St Albany, NY 12204 Phone: (518) 462-2993 Fax: (518) 427-9826 emily@capitaldistricthabitat.org