Atlanta Habitat for Humanity partners with working families, sponsors, and communities to build affordable, green, quality homes and to provide support services that promote successful home purchase and ownership.
About Atlanta Habitat
Founded in 1983 as a nonprofit housing organization, Atlanta Habitat has built and renovated more than 1,300 homes primarily in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County, housing over 5,000 individual family members.
- We build 40-50 houses each year, making it one of the largest builders of affordable, single-family homes in Atlanta.
- Since 2008, we have been able to serve families in 12 metro Atlanta counties, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Paulding.
- We spend approximately 88 cents of every dollar donated directly on homebuilding and homeowner programs and services and have earned Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for fiscal management for six consecutive years.
- We enlist and encourage volunteers from all faiths, races, and economic backgrounds to provide hands-on construction labor. In 2014, we recruited and managed 12,931 volunteers who provided 125,964 hours of service.
What We Do
- Build 3-bedroom/2-bath or 4-bedroom/2-bath houses that are environmentally friendly and cost less to maintain. Each house is sold for approximately $115,000, with monthly mortgage payments averaging $500-$600.
- Secure sponsors—faith–based groups, businesses, and civic organizations—to help underwrite the cost of building houses and to supply construction volunteers.
- Select the families, based on standard qualifications related to successful homeownership.
- Acquire land (through purchase or donations) in areas that provide sufficient lots to build several homes. Atlanta Habitat strives to create a “critical mass” of homeowners so that entire neighborhoods show visible signs of revitalization and stability.
- Educate new homebuyers by providing 12 mandatory education classes offering instruction in home maintenance, budgeting, community involvement and more. These classes are open to all Atlanta Habitat homeowners.
- Operate the ReStore, a retail home improvement outlet store that raises revenue to build more homes.
- Provide and service 30-year-mortgages for all Atlanta Habitat homeowners—currently more than 1,000 loan packages. Homeowners pay no interest on their mortgages, saving them an average of $125,000 over the life of their mortgage.
How We Do It
Sponsoring organizations underwrite a portion of direct construction costs. Donations, foundations, special events, product sales, ReStore sales, and homebuyer mortgage payments provide additional funds for land acquisition, site development, construction, homebuyer programs and services, and general operations.
Applicants are required to meet several qualifications to ensure success. Prospective homebuyers must:
- Be first-time homebuyers or fall within certain exceptions
- Be citizens or legal residents and have lived or worked in Atlanta or one of 12 metro counties for one year
- Household size of one to eight people
- Prove steady income for the past two years (must fall within established guidelines)
- Show consistent payment histories on debts and have no bankruptcies in the last four years
- Sustain a savings account over six months with a minimum balance of $200
Homebuyers enter a one-year occupancy agreement before purchasing their home. During this year, homebuyers attend Home Smart, the Atlanta Habitat education program, and satisfy 250 hours of sweat-equity requirements as they work toward homeownership.