Who We Are
The Need for Housing in Greater Manchester
We have a simple mission: building housing for those in need. Right now, the need in the Greater Manchester community is rising â€“ with the recession, mortgage crisis, and high unemployment coupled with a rising cost of living. Of course, it is the neediest population that is hit the hardest in times like these, women and children suffer the most from unstable housing situations, but they can also benefit the most.
Our state has more than 1,000 adolescents and young adults without a stable, permanent home every year. In Manchester alone, 25 percent of the children in the city are in families with incomes below the poverty level. This financial difficulty, together with housing instability, creates barriers to social engagement, forcing the children to limit interactions at school and become increasingly isolated. This in turn leads to a higher risk for dropping out of school, difficultly finding a job, higher rate of teen pregnancy, and a higher tendency towards crime.
How we Help
Habitatâ€™s model sets families up to be accountable and succeed at homeownership. When families succeed, entire communities succeed. Many studies have shown the interconnectedness between housing, educational success, social stability, and greater community health. Compared to renters of the same age, income, and race, homeowners in the U.S. are 12 times wealthier, 15 percent more likely to vote, and 16 percent more likely to belong to school or community organizations. The impact of homeownership on children in the family is even more impressive: the children are 25 percent more likely to graduate from high school, 116 percent more likely to graduate from college.
A Volunteer Run Organization
Volunteers are integral to the mission of GMHFH. Volunteers serve on our board, perform the daily tasks to keep the organization running, participate in fundraising, and put in the muscle for construction.
Join the Family Selection & Support Committee
Who makes a good Family Selection & Support Committee member? Anyone with a desire to find families deserving of a Habitat home, and a willingness to support that family through the homeownership process.
For the selection aspect, committee members will solicit, accept, and process applications from potential partner families; ensure potential partner families meet criteria; interview potential partner families; determine families eligible for home ownership; establish eligible partner family master list. After the selection, for the support part, members will mentor and advocate for GMHFH partner families; ensure that families know about â€œsweat equityâ€� and are on track with completing their volunteer hours; aid in the transition to homeownership; track class participation in money management, home maintenance courses, etc; work with families after home ownership on other support matters.
It is important for our committee members to feel comfortable working with families who come from many different parts of the community, and to have patience and a strong desire to help families better their living situation.
Homeowner Selection Criteria
Habitat for Humanity does not discriminate in the selection of families on the basis of race, creed, gender, disability, ethnic background or any other characteristic protected by law. Partner families are always selected based on their level of need, ability to pay and willingness to partner.
Need For Housing
This facet includes: living in overcrowded housing; living in substandard housing (housing that needs repairs or is unsafe); currently paying rent that is too high; being a resident of public housing (may or may not be a factor in qualifying); unable to obtain a regular bank mortgage or qualify for other available housing programs.
Ability to Pay
To meet this aspect: income that must be stable and fall between 25%-50% of HUD Area Median Income; a budget where the estimated mortgage payment should be between 30% and 35% of the income, and mortgage and other debt combined should be no more than 40% of the income; and the family must be able to afford payment of utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance expenses and the repayment of the interest-free mortgage.
Willingness to Partner
This means that: applicants must have been either living or working in the Greater Manchester area for at least one year; have a commitment to a drug-free community and no serious criminal history; applicants must be legal U.S. residents; and must be willing to put in required hours of sweat equity - physically working on the home and also taking classes on maintenance.