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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Habitat for Humanity?

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity, Inc., is a Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate substandard housing from Pendleton County and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. By having partner families and volunteers work together in equal partnership, Habitat builds new relationships and a sense of community as well as many new houses. Habitat looks for people who are willing to work on other families' homes and their own, who will be responsible about their house payments and home maintenance, and who will spread the good news of Habitat's ministry to the rest of the community.

How does it work?

Through volunteer labor and donated materials and funds, Habitat builds houses with the help of the homeowners, or partner families, and volunteers. While the labor is free of charge to the partner families, the cost of the building materials and any contracted labor is repaid to the affiliate by the families in low monthly payments. These payments are placed into the revolving "Fund for Humanity" which is used to build even more houses.

How do the families fit in?

Habitat is not a charity. It is a partnership. In addition to making monthly payments on the cost of the house, each able-bodied family member is required to invest 270 hours of "sweat equity" into their home. This means working on anything from framing to painting, shingling to landscaping. Homeowners are required to spend 30 hours of the 270 on someone else's Habitat house or on community or affiliate projects before construction begins on their house. This keeps the cost of the house down and increases the sense of pride and ownership for the family members. The monthly payments and sweat equity are equally important in becoming full partners with Habitat for Humanity.

Statement of nondiscrimination.

Almost Heaven HFH does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status or employment.

How are applicants selected?

After a family has completed the application process, the Board of Directors will select applicants for new houses based on their need, willingness to become partners with Habitat, and their ability to repay the cost of the house.

Please be prepared to be patient with this process. Many factors beyond the control of the Habitat staff and board affect the application and building process. Because we must rely heavily on volunteer labor, because we need financial donations to fund our building, and because of a host of other factors like weather, land availability, etc., the work schedule is unpredictable. Selection for a new house will take place only as land, money and materials are available, so it may take some time.

What is a habitat family?

How does a person qualify for a Habitat house? Habitat believes that all God's children deserve at least a simple, decent place in which to live. However, Habitat uses need, ability to repay the cost of the house, and willingness to partner with Habitat as criteria for selecting families. The explanations below help clarify these criteria. Please take a moment to read them. If you feel you qualify as a Habitat partner family, fill out an application!

  • Habitat families are not able to buy a house using conventional methods. Habitat applicants must demonstrate they have applied to a bank for a loan to build a house and have been rejected by the bank and for what reasons.
  • Habitat families can afford to pay between $250 and $350 each month for the mortgage payments. Families are required to pay for the cost of the building materials, any contracted labor, and any legal fees involved in their project. These payments are due the first of each month and are expected to be on time.
  • Habitat families are comfortable with Habitat's philosophy and mission. Habitat is a Christian housing ministry. While Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of religion, it does expect homeowners to understand its position and to participate fully in its program.
  • Habitat families are willing to work on their own homes and at least one other Habitat project. Part of being a partner family is working on your own house. It is expected that when volunteers are working on a family's house, the homeowners, whenever possible, are working alongside the volunteers, not merely watching. Almost Heaven requires a family to log a minimum of 270 hours of "sweat equity" per able-bodied adult on their own house and a minimum of 30 hours on someone else's.
  • Habitat families recognize the public nature of Habitat for Humanity. Newspapers, television stations, and radio stations are very important in the ministry of Habitat. They help educate people about the ideas that motivate the program. It is important, therefore, that our families are willing to help spread the word about Habitat. The more people who know about Habitat and are excited about it, the more houses we can build together!

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