What is Habitat for Humanity?

Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-profit, faith-based organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Our mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Linda and Millard Fuller. Their program developed from the concept of partnership housing, based on Christian principles, where those in need of adequate shelter work side by side with volunteers to build simple decent houses.

Habitat for Humanity is a grass-roots movement. Concerned individuals from many different backgrounds come together as volunteers to form a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in their community. Fund raising, house construction, family selection and other key decisions are carried out by local affiliates.

Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) was founded in 1985, with the formation of the first Canadian affiliate in Winkler Manitoba. In early 1988 an HFHC national office was established, which is currently located in Waterloo, Ontario.

Habitat for humanity has served more than 3 million people since 1976 and every 5 1.2 minutes habitat for humanity serves a family in need of decent housing.

Habitat for Humanity Canada has served over 2700 families nationwide with 63000 volunteering on build sites.

How does Habitat for Humanity work?

Through volunteer labour, efficient management and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund, which is used to build more houses.

Habitat for Humanity is not a give-away program. In addition to mortgage payments, each homeowner invests hundreds of hours of their own labour, called “sweat equity”, into the building of their house and the houses of others.

Who qualifies for a home?

To qualify for a Habitat home: (1) need for affordable housing, (2) ability to repay a Habitat mortgage and (3) willingness to partner with Habitat.

Need for affordable housing is defined by a family income that is below the government-set Low Income Cut-Off (poverty line) for their particular region, and existing living conditions that are inadequate in terms of structure, cost, safety or size. The ratio of shelter expense to total income is also factored.

Ability to repay a Habitat mortgage requires that the family has a stable income sufficient to cover the monthly mortgage payments and other expenses that come with home ownership.

Homeowners must demonstrate a willingness to partner with Habitat by contributing 500 hours of volunteer labor (“sweat equity”) towards the building of their home.

How are families chosen?

Families are chosen on the basis of the above criteria. Family selection occurs at the local affiliate by way of an application process. To obtain an application, contact us

In addition to mortgage payments, each homeowner invests hundreds of hours of their time to assist in the building of their home. In return, Habitat homeowners are given the unique opportunity to buy a home through an interest-free mortgage.

How are the homes built?

Through volunteer labour, efficient management and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner. Habitat houses follow standardized design criteria that maintain the “simple and decent” building standards.

Most Habitat projects are single dwellings or semi-detached homes, but Habitat for Humanity is expanding its build projects to include restoration and refurbishments, condominiums and town home style projects.

What does this mean to your community?

Habitat families often see an improvement in their financial situation as many of these families were spending over 50% of their income on rent.

A safe, healthy living environment contributes to the positive growth and development of children. Habitat has recorded many examples of children within Habitat families becoming healthier, completing a post-secondary education and establishing successful careers.

Communities benefit as former renters become homeowners who contribute to the tax base. Habitat build projects also offer an opportunity for community members, of all walks of life, to come together and work side by side in a meaningful way.

As the poverty cycle is broken, and a family’s financial situation improves their dependence on local social services is decreased. In addition, pride of ownership leads to a renewed sense of confidence, and along with their stable, long-term housing arrangement, they become long-term contributors to the community and the local economy.

How is this a hand up, not a hand out?

Habitat houses are sold to families, not given to them free of charge. In addition, families help to build their own home.

By building homes at low cost, requiring very little or no down payment, and not charging interest on the mortgage, Habitat for Humanity is able to provide an opportunity, or a “hand up”, to buy a home for families that would not otherwise qualify for a conventional mortgage.

Homeownership is a dream worth getting behind!

Habitat for Humanity Lloydminster has been serving Lloydminster and surrounding area for over 15 years. We have helped build safe affordable and decent housing in the following communities:

Lloydminster, Wainwright, Vermilion and Flying Dust First Nation near Meadow Lake SK.

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