Frequently Asked Questions
How does Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk work?
Through volunteer labor and donations, Habitat builds simple, quality, affordable homes with the help of our homeowner (partner) families. These houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable loans. In addition to 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.
Where are Habitat homes built?
We build throughout Suffolk County on land donated by the County and Townships. This valuable donation allows us to keep the cost of home ownership affordable. We have built all the way from Westhampton Beach to Huntington!
Do I have to be of faith to be a volunteer or family partner of Habitat?
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization. However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion, ethnic group, gender, disability or familial status. Habitat's abiding belief is that God's love extends to everyone. We welcome volunteers from all faiths or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat's goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.
Do I need to have knowledge about construction in order to volunteer or become a family partner?
No. Habitat’s professional construction staff will be on site to teach and provide assistance at all times. You will learn a great deal about the many elements of your home!
Who can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk?
Any person from any background is welcome to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. There are a variety of ways to get involved. CHECK IT OUT!
Does Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk accept donations of old or unused building materials?
We have a program called ReStore where you can donate these items. All of the proceeds from the sale of these materials will provide funding for our Habitat homes! Check it out: CLICK HERE
Who can apply for Habitat’s affordable housing program?
People in need of decent, affordable housing who meet our income guidelines and are willing to partner with Habitat can apply for this program. People who currently own a home are not eligible for the program.
To get started: CLICK HERE
What types of homes are built for Habitat families?
A typical house is approximately 1100 square feet with three bedrooms and one bath on a crawl foundation. Larger houses are built as needed depending on family size.
Does Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk give its houses away?
Habitat for Humanity is a "hand up, not a hand-out." Our partner families are assisted in applying for affordable no profit mortgages. All applicants who qualify for a home must have a steady source of income and must repay a mortgage with on-time, in-full payments each month. Habitat builds with the help of individuals, corporations and faith and youth groups who provide us with the required financial and labor investment. This allows us to keep the costs of our homes much lower than comparable houses, thus making them affordable for families in our program.
FAQ's From People Looking to Own a Home
How are families selected?
Families apply by filling out and submitting Part I of Habitat Suffolk's application. Families are chosen based on the: (1) need for affordable housing; (2) willingness to partner; and (3) ability to pay. As noted above, partner families are chosen without regard to race, religion, ethnic group, gender, disability or familial status.
How long does it take to become a homeowner?
After submitting a completed application, applicants can expect to move through a selection process that may take up to fourth months. Houses can take up to 15 months to build, although many are completed in just 8 months. Typically, families close on and move into their homes about 18 months after their initial application is submitted. Since our program relies on sponsors to fund houses and community volunteers to help construct them, this timeframe fluctuates.
What if I get turned down for a Habitat home?
If your family does not qualify at the time of application, we can help by providing you with strategies to improve your financial situation and highly encourage you to apply to the program again.
What is Sweat Equity?
Sweat Equity is Habitat’s most valuable tool in building the partnership among families, Habitat staff and volunteers. Sweat Equity refers to the actual hands-on involvement of partner families in the construction of their homes, participation in classes as well as other Habitat and community activities. Sweat Equity – a partner family’s physical and emotional investment in the mission of Habitat – is designed to meet three important goals: partnership, pride in homeownership, and the development of skills and knowledge to be a successful homeowner.
I called for my application, now what?
You will receive Application Part I. Please remember to send in all supplementary required documentation: a $15 money order for one applicant or a $25 money order for an applicant and a co-applicant. Money orders should be made out to Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. This is required to generate a credit check. Other supplementary required documentation includes the latest paystub from each applicant and each job, social security numbers of the applicant and co-applicant, second job information and statements from any additional income such as social security, child support or disability.
I filled out my application now what?
If you are missing any paperwork, your application is NOT complete. You will hear back from Family Services within 2-4 weeks of when we receive you Application Part I.
I have an interview scheduled with the Family Selection Committee, now what?
At the interview, you will be interviewed by 2 volunteers and asked several questions. If there is a co-applicant, the co-applicant must be present as well. The volunteers will come to your house/ apartment to ask more questions and assess your need. After all home visits are completed, the committee will meet to determine if you will be recommended to the board. The board meets monthly at the end of the month so a decision may be delayed. Once a decision is made by the board, you will be notified. If you are not contacted immediately, we are working as fast as we can to carefully process your application. Someone will contact you as soon as we have a decision.
I have been approved what else do I have to do?
You are required to have a steady income. You are required to work about 300 labor hours called “sweat equity,” this includes construction, community service, outreach and attending educational courses. In addition, there will be exciting things like designing your home! You will get to pick out certain items, for example the color of your floors, your siding, and the color of the kitchen counters too!
To learn more about our affordable housing program: PLEASE CLICK HERE