Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and making simple, decent, affordable, shelter a matter of conscience and action. Established in 1976, Habitat has since then built more than 100,000 houses worldwide.
Volunteers work with future homeowners to build or renovate houses that are then sold to partner families at no profit, with no interest charged on the mortgage. The money from the sale of each house goes into a revolving Fund for Humanity to support future building projects.
Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity was established in 1988 to meet the housing needs of the residents of Pendleton County, West Virginia. Since then, we have built 76 homes in partnership with low-income families, making their dream of homeownership a reality. We have also completed over 150 major rehabilitations and repairs as we continue work towards the elimination of poverty and substandard housing in our community. Currently, we build 4 to 5 new homes per year and perform about 5 repair jobs per month. We can only do this with your help! We are eager to show you how your group, church, or business can become involved in the housing ministry of Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity.
Almost Heaven Habitat History and Mission
Almost Heaven Habitat was founded in 1988 by a local group of citizens concerned about the living conditions of their neighbors. Kirk A. Lyman Barner was the founding President and continued to serve as Almost Heaven Habitat's Executive Director until September 1999. Michelle L. Connor, a Habitat homeowner herself, became Executive Director in October 1999 and continues to serve in this capacity.
- The goal of Almost Heaven Habitat is to eliminate poverty housing in Pendleton County, WV and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
- The Almost Heaven Habitat Board of Directors has adopted a goal of eliminating all of the substandard housing in Pendleton County.
- Realizing that Habitat can not meet this goal by itself, Almost Heaven Habitat has
successfully formed collaborative partnerships with other organizations who have similar goals such as the local churches through the Pendleton County Ministerial Association; local government agencies like the City of Franklin, the WV State Board of Rehabilitation Services, Federal Home Loan Bank, and the Pendleton County Commissioners. Ongoing partnerships with area non-profits include: the Lambert Hilltop Park Association, the Christian Assistance Network, Pendleton County Schools, and a major partnership with the West Virginia Housing Development Fund's Low Income Assisted Mortgage Program (LAMP).
- Almost Heaven Habitat refuses to accept any government funding for construction.
- Almost Heaven Habitat is one of over 1,600 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in North America and has helped to build homes in Kyrgyzstan, Ghana, West Africa, Haiti as well as in Peru which are two of Habitat's 100 international affiliates.
How does Almost Heaven Habitat Work?
- Habitat homes are simple, decent, affordable and accessible housing.
- Habitat partner families are selected based on three criteria: need; ability to make mortgage payments; and willingness to become a partner with our program.
- While the organizers of Almost Heaven Habitat are motivated by a Christian ethic of love
and concern for people in need, Almost Heaven Habitat does not discriminate based on
religion, gender, marital status, race, physical disability, employment, or age.
- Almost Heaven Habitat partner families must invest 250 hours of "sweat equity" per able-bodied adult, of which 50 hours must be completed on someone else's home.
- Almost Heaven Habitat partner families are encouraged to become active members of our Homeowners' Association.
- Almost Heaven Habitat is not a charity because partner families are charged for the building materials and contracted labor but are not charged for the volunteer labor.
- The partner families must sign a legally binding long-term, no profit, no interest loan contract.
- The homeowners' payments are recycled in the local community and are used to purchase more building materials to help more people in need of decent shelter.
- The average Habitat house is 1056 sq. ft. three bedroom. Using traditional construction methods these homes sell for $90,000.00. With the development of the Appropriate Technology Program Almost Heaven can offer the same size house built from environmental friendly, energy efficient materials for $60,000.00 making homeownership affordable to even the lowest income ranges in the county.
- Almost Heaven Habitat seeks to create opportunities for the poor and the non-poor to work together in partnership to achieve our goal of ending all poverty housing.
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.