A common misconception about Habitat for Humanity is that we are a charity that "gives away" homes to families who cannot afford a house. In reality, we create opportunities for families to purchase or renovate a home by offering these services at a price point that is typically more reasonable than similar opportunities in an area. In exchange, we require that our partner families learn about the financial and general responsibilities associated with homeownership, in a program called "sweat equity."
What is sweat equity?
Sweat equity is work that an individual puts into a project in order to invest into their own success. It demonstrates that a family or individual understands the value of the home or service they are receiving, and is willing to do the hard work necessary to meet that value. This work can take many forms, from participating in a build or renovation project, to attending homeowner education classes to better understand what goes into owning a home. We don't look at this as a form of payment or proof that someone can work hard, but rather as an investment in the family's strength, stability, and self-reliance that will help them have a better life.
Visit Habitat for Humanity International to learn more about sweat equity and its history within the organization.