Habitat is not a giveaway program. Our program is a hand up, not a hand out. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Clay County Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses alongside our homeowner (partner) families.
Partner families are selected by our volunteer Family Selection committee based on:
Our Four Criteria:
- Need – Currently living in over-crowded, sub-standard or unaffordable housing.
- Ability to Pay – Earning an income of at least $2255 month with decent or fixable credit
- Willingness to Partner – Willingness to volunteer a minimum of 300 – 500 hours on the construction on their own or other’s homes.
- Connection to the Community – Living or working in Clay County for a minimum of one year.
In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (“sweat equity”) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. Upon completion, Habitat homes are sold to our partner families at no profit and financed with low-interest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments go into a “Revolving Fund for Humanity” which is used to build still more Habitat homes.
All Clay County Habitat’s future homeowners attend a first-time home buyers’ class. In this 8-hour class, future homeowners are taught their rights, the process of home buying from application to closing, how to budget to avoid delinquency and prepare for unexpected expenses. This class is HUD certified.
Read about our latest homeowner’s experience.
If you are interested in applying for home ownership please contact us at (904) 282-7590 ext. 204
Why we build
The state of the world’s housing
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis. About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to the United Nations. These people are increasingly urban residents, and every week more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world. Today, a billion people – 32 percent of the global urban population – live in urban slums. If no serious action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.
In the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems
That’s one third of the nation. These problems include payments too large a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness. Throughout the world, people live in inadequate housing, and Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing decent, affordable homes for those in need.
Importance of clean, decent, and stable housing
Habitat for Humanity has shown that building homes does more than put a roof over someone’s head. In clean, decent, stable housing:
- Families can provide stability for their children.
- A family’s sense of dignity and pride grow.
- Health, physical safety, and security improve
- Educational and job prospects increase.
Meet the Bailey Family
The Bailey family became Habitat Homeowners in 2013. The six years since they received their keys have been exciting and busy. Jennifer has now worked for the Winn Dixie for 19 years. Shortly after moving into the home, she received a promotion and loves her job. She said the best part of her job is seeing her neighbors and the community at the store.
When her daughter was in high school, Jennifer was awarded custody of her daughter’s half sister. She raised both of her girls and celebrated their graduation last year. The girls plan to go to nursing and veterinary technician school.
Other exciting thing that happened was the purchase of a new car. Jennifer said she’s had a “lifetime of crappy cars” and was excited she was able to save enough money for a good car.
The Bailey family has grown by three adorable faces. The family rescued Bella the Cat. While at the vet, they met her look alike who was in a foster program. Three days later, they brought Cindy Lou Who home. The Calico cats have been inseparable ever since. Recently, her daughter rescued Stella the dog. Their beautiful family is now complete.
Through the Habitat Homeowner process, Jennifer always did what she needed to and continues to do that today. The Bailey family are model Habitat Homeowners.