Family Support Committee guides the family through the home building process
When a family is approved to participate with Habitat as a partner family in home building and homeownership, a support person is assigned from the Family Support Committee. This person acts as an advisor who will teach, support, provide guidance, and encourage the family through the process of becoming a homeowner.
During their Orientation Meeting, families receive information about their responsibilities to Habitat for Humanity and what they can expect in return. This is not only an exciting time for families but also a serious step toward homeownership and the responsibilities that it entails.
Each family agrees to provide 400 hours of “sweat equity” toward homeownership. A discussion of what they need to do and how it can be accomplished is the beginning of encouraging each family in this responsibility. After banking 100 hours of sweat equity, a family signs a Letter of Intent which is their contract with Habitat for building their home. The partner family selects its floor plan and house color at that time. Later, their Family Advisor guides them in the selection of lighting fixtures and floor coverings. At this point they are well on the way to creating a house that will become their own special home.
Education for new partner families is also an important aspect in the process of becoming a new homeowner. Our families are required to attend classes that help prepare them to manage their personal finances and to understand what it means to own and manage their own home.
During the construction phase, the Family Advisor remains in close contact with the partner family, acting as an advocate, offering support as needed, and encouraging them to become independent problem solvers. As the construction of their new home is nearing completion, the advisor helps the family prepare to occupy their new home.
After they become homeowners, each Habitat community is encouraged to form a homeowners’ association that is led and managed by the families living in that community. The education they received in the building process gives them the tools they will need for problem solving on a local level and living in harmony with their neighbors.