Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller in Americus, Georgia. Habitat is a nonprofit, economical housing ministry dedicated to the ideal that all people deserve a simple, decent place to live on terms that they can afford to pay.
There are currently over 2,100 active Habitat affiliates around the globe in 100 countries. They have built more than 600,000 homes worldwide, housing more than 3 million people. More information about the history of Habitat for Humanity International here.
The Rice campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in the early 1990's. Since that time, Rice Habitat has sponsored four Habitat Homes, including the recent Rice Centennial House. In addition to home sponsorship, Rice Habitat has provided students with the opportunity to volunteer with local Habitat Affiliates and to mentor youth in the Houston community. We are currently working towards sponsoring our fifth home. For more information about this project, see the Rice Second Century Home page.
There is a selection process to determine who receives Habitat homes. First, families in need of a decent shelter apply to local affiliates, and they are selected based on the level of need, their willingness to become partners in the Habitat program, and their ability to repay the loan. Through volunteer labor and tax deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates modest, suitable houses which cost on average $60,000 in the United States. The Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price.
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, each homeowner invests approximately 300 hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into the building of their house and the houses of others. The sweat equity usually involves helping build other families' homes, taking classes about finance and home maintenance, and working on their own house.
Rice Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit student organization
which works towards Habitat's goal of eliminating inadequate
housing. Rice Habitat works to extinguish inadequate housing
in Houston by providing opportunities for the Rice community
to volunteer with other Habitat affiliars.