Despite nearly 35 years of empowering people to achieve their dreams of homeownership, there are still some misconceptions about Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County’s mission and homeownership programs.
We want to bust those myths, and keep our message of stability and self-reliance going strong!
Myth: Habitat Orlando & Osceola homes are given away
Fact: Each Habitat Orlando & Osceola homeowner pays a mortgage suited to their income level. Qualified homeowners are hard-working people with low to moderate incomes (teachers, healthcare workers, and more). Future homeowners also partner with us, agreeing to attend homeownership classes as well as to provide sweat equity for their homes. By assisting with the construction of Habitat homes, the homeowner “earns” the bulk of their down payment as well other costs associated with construction and closing.
To learn more about our homeowner criteria, please visit HabitatOrlandoOsceola.org/Criteria.
Myth: Habitat Orlando & Osceola homes are lower quality
Fact: All Habitat Orlando & Osceola homes are built with the neighborhood’s aesthetic in mind, one that blends in with and enhances the surrounding community. Homeowners get to choose custom items like exterior paint color and interior finishes, and the homes are move-in ready and include appliances, blinds, and an alarm system. Pleasing exterior landscaping is included in the cost of the home, with a focus on eco-friendly, drought and heat tolerant plants.
Read more about the features of our homes at HabitatOrlandoOsceola.org/Home-Features.
Myth: Habitat houses don’t cost the organization a lot to build
Fact: Only 30% of the total build is provided through donations of goods and services. The other 70% (payments to subcontractors and purchasing products needed to build the home) is paid for by Habitat Orlando & Osceola. Plumbing, electrical, roofing – these specialized areas are not things new-to-construction volunteers could safely tackle on their own.
We need your support to continue building homes. Consider donating to us at HabitatOrlandoOsceola.org/Donate.
Myth: Habitat only builds new houses
Fact: While new construction is a big part of what Habitat Orlando & Osceola does, we also lend a hand in repairs and remodels of existing homes. Habitat Orlando & Osceola can replace roofs and improve accessibility for older residents or those with disabilities – installing ramps and handrails, or renovating kitchens and baths to make them more user friendly, empowering people to remain in the homes and communities they love.
Myth: You have to be a Christian to qualify
Fact: While Habitat for Humanity is a Christian-based organization, religious affiliation is not a requirement for homeownership or for volunteering. Habitat is dedicated to correcting housing disparities due to race, creed, and ethnicity. The only qualifications for homeownership are: a need for safe, affordable housing, ability to pay the mortgage, and a willingness to partner with Habitat Orlando & Osceola.
Myth: Habitat homes can’t be resold
Fact: A home purchased through Habitat for Humanity is like any other, and the homeowners can resell. The timeframe for the sale may depend on what sort of down-payment assistance a homeowner received at their closing. Since Habitat’s goal is to help people get away from high-cost, substandard housing, and into a neighborhood community that is affordable and stable, the hope is that families will remain in their homes long term. But if a job relocation or other need arises, the homes can go on the market.
Habitat Orlando and Osceola’s mission remains one of a hand up – not a handout – by fostering an attitude of self-reliance. We want to create strong, stable communities where people from all walks of life can have access to affordable housing and enjoy the many perks that come with homeownership.
You can help more local families experience the peace and freedom of owning an affordable home. When you donate to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, every dollar helps us build homes and work toward a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. You can make bring hope home through homeownership; please give today.