Homeownership

Habitat Family

Homeownership is a big part of the American dream. At Mesilla Valley Habitat for Humanity, we are a proud partner with individuals and families who are living in substandard housing conditions who want a safe and comfortable place to call home. These people are hard-working people who want to own their own home, but who are not able to qualify for a traditional mortgage for any number of reasons. Perhaps they don’t make enough money. Often they have poor credit or no credit history at all.

At Habitat for Humanity, we build homes with volunteer labor so we can sell them at no profit to qualified families to move out of poverty housing.

We like to say that we provide families with “a hand up, not a hand out.” Our homeowners pay monthly no-interest mortgage payment of about $525 per month, depending on the size of their home. And, in order to be eligible to become a homeowner, they must contribute 250-500 hours of sweat equity through classes in budgeting, home maintenance, construction, and other Habitat events.

What It Means To Be a Partner Family

Homeowners not only receive a house but much more. Habitat families report improved education and skills, feeling of civic responsibility and respect for community, sense of pride in accomplishment, greater financial independence and breaking the cycle of poverty. The home is like the light at the end of the tunnel, as one homeowner put it. Others have stated that it is a new lease on life. The required sweat equity hours prove to be a benefit as well, helping to build a sense of pride. The homeowners become part of their housing solution while also building the community and helping others in their similar situation.


The Benefits of Homeownership

Homeownership Builds Successful Children:

Compared to the children of renters (of the same age, income, race, etc.), the children of homeowners:

✓ are 25% more likely to graduate from high school
✓ are 116% more likely to graduate from college
✓ are 20% less likely to become teenage mothers
✓ are 59% more likely to own a home within 10 years of moving from their parent’s household
✓ have 9% higher math scores
✓ have 7% higher reading scores
✓ have 3% fewer behavior problems
✓ save taxpayers an estimated $34,000 in public expenditures (i.e. the cost of juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy, etc.) that would have been spent had they remained in rented housing

Homeownership Builds Stronger Communities:

Compared to renters (of the same age, income, race, etc.), homeowners:

✓ are 28% more likely to repair or improve their homes
✓ are 12% more likely to maintain a garden outside their homes
✓ are 10% more likely to report they have worked to solve local problems
✓ live 4 times longer in a community
✓ are 11% more likely to know who represents them in Congress
✓ are 9% more likely to know who their school-board representative is
✓ are 15% more likely to vote

Homeownership Builds Stronger Families:

Compared to renters (of the same age, income, race, etc.), homeowners:

✓ are 10% more likely to attend church
✓ are 16% more likely to belong to parent-teacher organizations, block clubs, etc.
✓ read newspapers 1.3 times more often
✓ are less likely to have alcohol and substance-abuse problems

Source: Cincinnati office of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, April 2003

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