Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry with the goal of making decent, affordable housing available to every family worldwide. Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) is committed to achieving that goal in Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
Why Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing is one of the most pressing needs facing central New Jersey. According to the Coalition on Affordable Housing, a family needs to earn $46,560 to afford fair market rent of $1,164 for a two-bedroom apartment in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. More than 25 percent of area families fall below this income threshold. As a result, many hard-working central New Jersey families are forced to spend too much of their income on housing, leaving too little for food, clothing, health care, and other necessary expenses.
The Habitat Program
RVHFH builds permanent affordable housing for low-income families via a cooperative, volunteer effort. RVHFH volunteers find the site, raise the funds, and select a family for each new home. Then, the selected family works side by side with RVHFH and community volunteers on the construction of their new home. The family purchases the home upon completion with the help of a zero-interest mortgage provided by Habitat. Once they purchase the house, they are responsible for home maintenance and for monthly payments of principal, taxes, insurance and utilities. Mortgage payments are recycled to fund the construction of more houses. To ensure the continued availability of affordable housing in the community, the deeds to the properties are restricted.
Who we serve
RVHFH works exclusively with low–income families, those who earn 30-50% of median income. In addition to meeting these income guidelines, families must show that:
- they have a need for better housing
- they are willing to contribute their own labor to the construction of their home,
- they are legal residents, and
- they have a good credit and work history
Families are selected for home ownership via a nondiscriminatory process.