Sweat Equity

Habitat is a hand up, not a hand out

To qualify for a Habitat Home, one must:

  • demonstrate a need for safe and affordable housing
  • agree to participate in sweat equity
  • be able and willing to pay an affordable mortgage

But wait, I thought Habitat was a non-profit. Where do the mortgage payments go?

Good question! The mortgage payments get cycled into the community to build Habitat Homes! This will something like materials or equipment that go into building the next home!

What is sweat equity?

sweat equity (noun): the contribution to a project or enterprise in the form of effort and toil. Sweat equity is the ownership interest, or increase in value, that is created as a direct result of hard work by the owner(s). It is the preferred mode of building equity for cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures, since they may be unable to contribute much financial capital to their enterprise.

What does sweat equity look like?

  • construction on their homes or the homes of others
  • cleaning a worksite
  • working at a ReStore
  • financial education classes

Habitat homeowners are required to put in a certain number of hours of sweat equity on their house or another house, as well as attend financial education classes to help them sustain their lifestyle. This idea is the foundation of how Habitat works! Cool, huh?

“What the poor need is not charity but capital, not case workers but co-workers.”

– Clarence Jordan, founder of Koinonai Farm, where Habitat for Humanity began