What is Habitat for Humanity International?

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.


Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 500,000 houses around the world, providing more than 2 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFHI was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda.


How does it work?

Through volunteer labor and 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 loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.


Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor—sweat equity—into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.


What are Habitat affiliates?

Habitat for Humanity’s work is accomplished at the community level by affiliates—independent, locally run, nonprofit organizations. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area—fund raising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction, and mortgage servicing.


Habitat for Humanity International’s operational headquarters, located in Americus, Georgia, USA, and its administrative headquarters, located in Atlanta, Georgia, provide information, training and a variety of other support services to Habitat affiliates worldwide.


All Habitat affiliates are asked to “tithe”—to give 10 percent of their undesignated contributions to fund house-building work in other nations. Tithing provides much-needed funds for international building, and it also gives affiliates the opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of Christian partnership.


How many Habitat for Humanity Affiliates are there?

Currently, more than 1,500 affiliates in the United States and 550 international affiliates coordinate Habitat house-building projects in over 3,000 communities around the world. Habitat affiliates build houses, while Habitat for Humanity International provides a wide range of support services and resources. Some affiliates in developing countries also receive funding grants from Habitat for Humanity International. There are 40 Wisconsin Affiliates.


How are the partner families selected?

Families in need of decent shelter apply to local Habitat affiliates. The affiliate’s family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses.


When did the Fond du Lac Affiliate begin?

The first meeting of the Fond du Lac Affiliate was held at the Fond du Lac Public Library on April 25, 1996.
Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County was officially organized on May 9, 1996.
The Fond du Lac Affiliate incorporated on September 13, 1996.


How many houses has Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County built?

1998 (2)
1999 (1)
2000 (1)
2001 (2)
2002 (1)
2005 (2)
2006 (3)
2007 (2)
2008 (2)
2009 (1)
2010 (2)
2011 (2)
2012 (1)
2013 (2)
2014 (1)
2015 (1)
2016 (2)
​2017 (2)
​2018 (1)


What is the average cost of a house?

Domestic: $110,000
International: $2,000 – $8,000


How big are the typical Habitat houses?

2-bedroom 900 square feet
3-bedroom 1,050 square feet
4-bedroom 1,150 square feet


How long will the average mortgage be?

15-30 years (20 years is the average)


On what basis is a family selected?

The Family Selection committee reviews the applications. Habitat homeowners are chosen based on the following:


  • The need for adequate shelter
  • The ability to pay the no-interest loan
  • The willingness to partner

Further, applicants must have lived or worked in Fond du Lac County for at least one year and have had a steady income for two years. Bankruptcy or foreclosure must not have been filed within the past two years. The following income guidelines must also be met (2017 HUD Income Documentation System):


Family Size​ 1-2

Household income not more than:​ $41,800
Household income at least: $22,900


Family Size​ 3-5

Household income not more than: $56,450
Household income at least:$29,400


Family Size​ 6 or more

Household income not more than: $69,000
Household income at least: $37,900


The Selection Committee practices a fair, objective, non-discriminatory family selection policy. Race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin are not factors in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. Policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. EHO


How much “Sweat Equity” is required?

Sweat equity is the required time a homeowner must work with the affiliate before being able to move into his or her new house. This work includes helping to build the home, assistance in the Habitat for Humanity affiliate office, or helping to build someone else’s home in the community. The Sweat equity obligation may additionally be met by community service hours to other approved agencies. The majority of the sweat equity hours must be done by the homeowner in the construction and completion of their home if possible.


  • Applicant and Co-Applicant (Couple): 500 Hours
  • Applicant (Single): 300 Hours
  • Family & Friends may donate 75 hours.


What is “Family Partnering” & how long does it continue?

The Family Selection/Support Committee serves as a liaison between each homeowner family from the time of selection until six months after the family has moved into their new home (or longer if needed). Families are prepared for the responsibilities of home ownership & putting in sweat equity, which is tracked by the Family Selection/Support Committee and the Partner Family.


How much is the down payment?

This is decided by the Family Selection/Support Committee. At the present time the down payment is 2% of the anticipated mortgage.


Does the family make their monthly payments directly to the bank?

Yes. The bank then deposits escrow money into the homeowners account, deposits the mortgage payment into the revolving fund for Habitat and sends the affiliate a receipt showing payment has been made.


What are Habitat’s sources of income?

Habitat receives donations from individuals, churches, businesses and other organizations. Homeowners also make monthly payments on their houses. Habitat ReStore provides 80% of its sales to Habitat, 10% of sales are tithed to Global countries and 10% is used for operating the ReStore.


What about Government sources?

Habitat does not accept government funds for the actual construction of houses, but Habitat does accept government funds for administrative expenses or for street, utilities, land or houses needing rehabilitation.


If there is no profit and no interest, how does Habitat continue?

It continues on the basis of donations of money, materials and volunteer labor, plus the revolving fund into which new homeowners pay their mortgages.


How can we contact Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County for information, donation or volunteer opportunities?

Habitat for Humanity
1020 S Main Street Suite C
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
[email protected]
Phone: (920) 921-6623
Fax: (920) 322-0778