Who We Serve
At Austin Habitat for Humanity, we believe everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live.
We build homes alongside hard-working, low-income families in the community and then sell the homes with an affordable mortgage to Austin Habitat families, whom we have prepared to be successful homeowners. Families in need must meet certain income and credit qualifications, attend homebuyer education classes and contribute 300 sweat equity hours. It is hard work. But, it sure does pay off!
Our families don’t just build strength and stability for themselves, but for their entire community. Together, we build a better Austin.
Meet Our Families
Berhanu & Hana
Austin Habitat brings people together to build strong, stable and self-reliant communities, we create safe and affordable homes for hardworking families in Central Texas in partnership with volunteers, private and public donors and the community.
We are the largest nonprofit provider of affordable homeownership opportunities in Central Texas, serving Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Hays and Travis counties.
How It Works
Austin Habitat for Humanity serves families earning up to 80 percent of Median Family Income, $78,100 for a family of four, that demonstrate they have:
- Need for shelter
- Willingness to partner
- Ability to pay
Most of Austin Habitat for Humanity’s partner families earn between 40 and 50 percent of Median Family Income and are living in overcrowded or substandard conditions, or paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
- The median household size of an Austin Habitat family is 3 people
- The median household income is $35,000
- Approximately 70% of the homes we build are for families with children
- Half of Habitat homeowners are single mothers
After a thorough qualification process which takes into consideration these three requirements, Austin Habitat partner families pay a down payment, put 300 hours into building their neighbors and their own homes, and undergo extensive homebuyer education courses. They purchase the home from Austin Habitat and continue to pay an affordable 30-year mortgage. Monthly mortgage payments from our Habitat Homeowners are placed in the “fund for humanity” which funds the construction of additional homes for qualifying partner families.
Why it Matters
Safe and stable homes are the foundation of successful families and communities. But owning a home is not possible for many of our neighbors. As the cost of a home in the area has soared to $400,000, more than one-third of local households are earning less than $50,000 a year. The mean hourly wage in the region is $25.87, but hardworking employees in many professions – like food preparation and service, maintenance, and personal care – earn more like half that amount. We believe these hard workers deserve the same opportunity for safe, stable housing that their wealthier neighbors have had.
Read more about the need for affordable housing in Austin.
Homeownership remains one of the only options for low-income families to build assets and achieve financial security. With affordable mortgage payments and continuing support, Austin Habitat empowers its families with the tools and knowledge for long term success.
Learn more about the impact of affordable homeownership and why it is critical to ending the cycle of poverty.
Myths and Facts
Fact: Habitat for Humanity offers affordable homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional home financing. Austin Habitat serves families earning 80 percent or below Median Family Income or about $78,100 for a family of 4. Most of our families earn 55 percent Median Family Income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make a down payment. Additionally, they contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home and/or someone else’s home. Austin Habitat keeps mortgage payments affordable thanks to donations of land, material and labor.
Fact: Austin Habitat for Humanity serves first time homebuyers or families who have not owned a home in the last three years. Our homeowners must have a stable income adequate to pay for their housing and other expenses.
Fact: Housing studies show affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have proven to increase property values and local government tax income.
Fact: While some Habitat homeowners receive public assistance, most are hardworking people. Typically their annual income is less than half the local median income in their community.
Fact: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s abiding belief that God’s love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Fact: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Georgia), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization’s house-building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.