A Habitat for Humanity affiliate (Habitat for Humanity Prince William County) is a locally based, community-level Habitat for Humanity office that serves a specific area in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building and home repair programs in its local area including fundraising; building site selection; partner family selection and support; construction; mortgage servicing and volunteer coordination.
I thought Habitat for Humanity only helps people in third world countries. What do you do locally?
Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in our local community. We partner with low-income residents of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park to help them achieve affordable homeownership. We also provide home repair services to low-income homeowners who could otherwise not afford to have them done.
Do you remodel homes?
No. We provide home repairs that alleviate critical health, life and safety issues or housing code violations. Examples include the repair or replacement of major home systems including roofing, siding, windows, heating and air conditioning, plumbing or electrical systems, or providing accessibility accommodations. We also provide exterior repairs such as replacing and painting rotting wood, fencing and other home preservation maintenance.
Do you give houses away to poor people?
Habitat for Humanity does not give homes away. We believe in giving community members a hand up, not a hand out. We do this by partnering with families who are in need, willing to provide sweat equity, and have the ability to repay a no- or low-interest mortgage or a portion of their home repair costs. Wages are not keeping up with the rising cost of living and many hard working residents struggle to afford decent housing. Typically, their total annual income is less than half the area median income.
As a nonprofit, how are you able to provide these services to low-income residents?
Partners such as volunteers, donors and sponsors are imperative in our work to eliminate substandard housing in our community. Donors and sponsors provide the funds to buy needed materials and tools. Volunteers provide labor, which helps us keep costs down — and hopes up.
What is a partner family?
Those who are recommended by our Family Selection Committee and approved by our Board of Directors to participate in one of our programs become partner families.
What is sweat equity?
Sweat equity is volunteer work. Partner families are responsible for sweat equity hours, which may be accomplished through construction or repair of the partner family’s house and/or the houses of others, providing food for volunteers, working in the Habitat ReStore or Habitat office, and attending homeownership classes.
Do you have to be a Christian to become a Habitat partner family or to volunteer?
Habitat for Humanity Prince William County welcomes volunteers, supporters and partner families from all backgrounds. Anyone who believes that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live is welcome to partner with us regardless of race, religion, age, gender or political views.
Is Habitat for Humanity a government agency?
No. Habitat for Humanity is an independent, nonprofit organization that accepts some government funds and other resources to help provide houses for those in need. We accept these funds as long as they do not limit our ability to serve the residents of our community. Additionally, we follow policies and guidelines to avoid becoming dependent on or controlled by government funds.
Did former President Jimmy Carter start Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity was in fact started in 1976 in Americus, Ga., by the late Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Ga.), 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.
How can I become involved with Habitat?
Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is a volunteer-driven organization. We depend on volunteers to help us with construction, office tasks, in the ReStore and on committees. You don’t have to be a skilled construction worker to volunteer with Habitat. We also depend on individual donations and sponsorships to fund the needed materials for our projects. Please call 703-369-6708 and together, we’ll build a better community.