Lincoln South Rotary Club is partnering with the Habitat For Humanity by providing trees for a home being built in Lincoln. On March 16 we heard from Josh Hanshaw of the Habitat For Humanity about the organization and our project.
Habitat for Humanity is an international non-governmental, nonprofit organization devoted to building simple, decent and affordable housing. The underlying theme is that everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live.
Habitat for Humanity in Lincoln started in 1988 - so it is 30 years old. There are 11 paid staff, the Board is all volunteer, and there are 100s of additional volunteers for building and working in the Restore.
Some of the statistics that we discussed:
  • Future homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. 
  • Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.
  • 90% of surveyed Habitat homeowners in 44 U.S. cities said they could not have owned a home without help from Habitat. 
  • 1 in 5 children in Lincoln live in poverty. To qualify for a Habitat loan, a family of four would need an income between $24,300 and $35,200
  • Children of homeowners are 116% more likely to graduate from college compared with children in families who do not own their homes.
  • The foreclosure rate on Habitat houses in the U.S. is less than 2% on an annualized basis. 
The homeowners work for their homes. The homes are not given to anyone. The homeowners often work alongside the other volunteers during the construction of the home. They also work at the Habitat Restore and volunteer at other nonprofit agencies as part of their contract.
In 2017 Habitat in Lincoln built its 150th home. They will soon finish another home which will be the 157th built. During the last application period (3 1/2 weeks long) they received 85 applications.
Habitat applicants must fall within income guidelines (there is a schedule on their website) and: 
  • MUST be a permanent resident of the United States and must be a resident of Lancaster County for at least 1 year
  • Must be employed or have another steady source of income.
  • Have good credit over the past 24 months
  • Be a first time homeowner (If you already own a home or can apply for a mortgage loan from a lender you are NOT eligible.)
  • Currently live in substandard housing

As mentioned earlier, the homeowners must earn the homes by agreeing to:
  • Complete 300-400 sweat equity hours before moving into your home
  • Assume responsibility for a 30-year or longer mortgage and must be able to continue to live and work in the U.S.
  • Make timely payments
  • Able to afford additional costs associated with owning a home which include property taxes, insurance, repairs and regular upkeep
  • Be a good neighbor by maintaining your home inside and outside, this includes: maintaining your yard, and scooping snow off the sidewalks.
  • Be a positive representative for Habitat for Humanity
  • Inform Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln of any changes to  phone numbers or email addresses
  • Stay Connected- Continue to stay involved with Habitat
Lincoln South Rotary Club will be providing trees for the home that will be finished late in April. This is in support of the Rotary challenge to plant trees this year.