Q: What is Habitat for Humanity of Berks County?
A: Habitat for Humanity of Berks County is a nonprofit organization focused on providing moderate income families with a decent, safe, and affordable place to live.
Q: Does Habitat give away homes?
A:No, Habitat homeowners purchase their homes at market value. In addition, families and individuals provide 200 hours of sweat equity, which includes up to 50 hours of classroom education. At the end of a 12 to 14 month period, the family signs a 30-year affordable mortgage.
Q: Can Habitat for Humanity of Berks County fix my existing home?
A: Critical repair of currently owned homes is not in the scope of our current work. Contact 211 for help finding an appropriate organization.
Q: What are the criteria for becoming a Habitat Berks homeowner?
A: Review the guidelines here.
Q: How are the families and individuals selected?
A: Families and individuals complete an extensive application and are selected based on income, willingness to partner with Habitat, and need. Selections are determined by a volunteer-run family selection committee.
Q: What happens when I’m picked for the Habitat program?
A: You will be notified by both phone and letter and asked to schedule an orientation session with the Director of Family Services.
Q: When can I start my sweat equity hours?
A: You may begin your 200 sweat equity hours as soon as you are notified that you’ve been accepted into the program. Hours are scheduled through the Director of Family Services.
Q: How long does the process take?
A: The entire process from application to house dedication typically takes between 18 and 24 months, but much of the timing depends on the completeness of the initial application is and how quickly the homeowner completes their sweat equity hours.
Q: How much do the houses cost?
A: Habitat Berks homes are sold at market value and are purchased through low-interest, 30-year mortgages. Mortgage payments vary depending on the size of the house and will also be affected by the cost of real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. With rare exception, we are able to place our homeowners into homes that cost less than or equal to the amount they are paying in rent.
Q: Who can volunteer with Habitat Berks?
A: Habitat Berks welcomes individuals and groups to work at our ReStore, on our construction sites or in the office. Our greatest need for volunteers is always at our ReStore. You must be at least 18 to volunteer on a construction site. We welcome individuals as young as 16 to volunteer at our ReStore.
Q: What is the Habitat Berks ReStore?
A: The Habitat Berks ReStore is a retail store that sells both new and gently-used household items, including building materials, furniture and more. The profits from the ReStore help fund the work of Habitat for Humanity of Berks County.