Atlantic County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Atlantic County, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose goal is to eliminate poverty or sub-standard housing in our community, one house at a time. We are a volunteer organization that works in partnership with carefully selected families to achieve their goal of obtaining decent, affordable housing for their family. The Habitat homeownership program is not a “give-away” program. Each adult is required to contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” before moving into his or her home. The hours are accumulated through volunteering for other community organizations, churches, hospitals, working in the Habitat office and helping to build another family’s home.
History of Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. The Fullers wanted to address poverty housing on a global scale through “partnership housing”. The Fullers’ concept of partnership housing centers on those in need of adequate shelter working side-by-side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses. Habitat’s no profit and no interest financing is affordable. And the “Fund for Humanity” (homeowner mortgage payments, no interest loans and fundraising dollars) provides the capital needed to build.
Today Habitat for Humanity has served more than 1 million families around the world, completing the construction or repair of a home at the rate of every 4 minutes.
The need for simple, decent, affordable housing in our county is great. The Family Selection committee works diligently in selecting families who need housing. There are three criteria to qualify for a Habitat home. The first is need, the second is the ability to pay the mortgage, and the third is the willingness to partner. There are income guidelines for eligibility and the family needs to have a consistent source of income to qualify. Each newly selected family is assigned a Family Partner who walks them through the process of becoming a homeowner. The Partner stays with the family for at least a year after they move into their home. In some cases it is a bond that remains intact for years.
The house is sold to the family for the cost of construction and the mortgage is interest free. These two factors enable families to own an affordable home. Habitat holds the mortgage and the principal paid back to us goes toward building more homes. The average monthly mortgage payment is $650, including taxes and insurance. To date, 33 families are proud homeowners and tax-paying citizens in Atlantic County.
We are thankful and indebted to those individuals, organizations, businesses and municipalities that have joined with Habitat in seeking ways to help us help others. The Atlantic City and County Board of Realtors holds an annual fund-raising event to benefit our affiliate. They have contributed more than $175,000 for Habitat homes. We are funded through CRDA and the Atlantic City Community Development Block Grant for building and administration in Atlantic City. Funding in mainland communities comes through private donations and fund-raising efforts. We’ve completed four homes using funds through the Atlantic County Improvement Authority – HOME Program. Our Annual Golf Tournament continues to grow and provides funding for our affiliate. In order to meet the needs of prospective families, it is always important that we continue seeking new avenues of funding.
The dedication of the building committee is amazing. They work each Saturday in an effort to get families into their homes as quickly as possible. They are volunteers who give their time and talents to help improve the life of a family. It seems that there is always the need for volunteers and we appreciate every effort made to support this organization. We urgently need skilled builders to volunteer with us.
Who We Are
Carol Schwartz, MSIT.
Geoff Hieb | President
Robert Reid | Vice President
Robert Sobkow | Treasurer
Amanda McGowan | Secretary
We are thankful and indebted to those individuals, organizations, businesses and municipalities that have joined with Habitat in seeking ways to help us help others. Below is a list of some of our sponsors.
Wells Fargo | Geoff Heib and the Doc’s Place family
ACUA | Archer and Greiner | Ashton Fund (UAW) | Atlantic City Electric | Atlantic City Nissan Volvo and Infinite | AtlantiCare | Borgata Heart and Soul Foundation | Boscov’s | Centsablesolutions LLC | Chelsea Carpets | Christoper Alexander | Copiers Plus | Dennis | Mobely and Sons | Ford Scott | Fulton Bank | Glenn Insurance | Harbor Pines Golf Club | HS Restoration | Judith Jacovelli | Jem Heating | Jim and Barbara Summers | Marathon Engineering | Mike Stanley-Weinstein | Mr. John | Murray and Becker, LLC | Nehmad, Perillo & Davis, P.C. | NJ Builders Association | NJ Builders League | Northfield Plumbing | Ocean City Home Bank | Peter Lumber | ReViro | Gail and Bill Schwartz | SJ Hauck | Smitty’s “The Clam Bar” | The Gutter Guys | Universal Supplies
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you build your homes (counties)?
All of Atlantic County
What kinds of homes do you build?
We build home from the ground up and also refurbish homes.
How do I apply to the Habitat homeownership program?
Each applicant must undergo credit and reference checks, as well as an in-home interview conducted by members of the Family Partnership Committee.
Combined annual income should fall between 30 percent and 80 percent of local median income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Applicants must be able to save up enough money for a down payment and closing costs, about $3,000.
Applicants must be willing to make regular payments on outstanding debts in accordance with a repayment plan. Applicants must contribute at least 250 hours to construction. Contact us at 609-487-9472 for an application on home ownership.
How long does it take to get a Habitat Home?
Pre-Qualification – 5-15 minutes
- Application – 1-2 hours
- Document Gathering – 1-2 weeks
- Approval – 1-3 Months
- Building the House, Sweat Equity Hours & Closing Cost Deposit – 1-2 years
What are the age requirements to volunteer with Habitat?
You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer on a construction site. If you are 15 or 16 years old, you can volunteer at the ReStores provided you have an adult volunteering with you for your entire shift. Youth under the age of 16 can also support Habitat’s mission through a variety of other projects.
Do you need previous construction experience to volunteer on a Habitat construction site?
No. Anyone who wants to help and is at least 16 years old is welcome on the construction site. Site supervisors will provide you with tools and equipment and teach you how to use them.
What are ReStores?
Habitat’s ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used home and building materials to your community at a fraction of the retail price. All of the profits from the ReStores go towards supporting Atlantic County Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building decent, affordable housing in partnership with local hard-working, low-income families.