Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about how the Habitat for Humanity program works or how you can get involved? Select one of the topics listed below to explore answers to our most frequent questions. If your question is not answered, or if you would like more details about the information below, please reach out to our office. We are happy to visit with you further regarding the Habitat program.
Q: Are applicants required to have children to be eligible for the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program?
A: No. Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., considers the following areas for eligible applicants:
1. Need for adequate housing
2. Ability to pay
3. Willingness to Partner with Habitat for Humanity
4. Must live or work in Benton County for at least one year
We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law. It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Anyone who feels he or she has been discriminated against may file a complaint of housing discrimination: 1-800-669-9777 (Toll Free)
Q: How can someone apply for the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program?
A: The Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc. Homeownership Program is closed at this time and will not be accepting applications until September 1, 2021.
Q: Do I have to be skilled in construction to volunteer on the build site?
A: No construction skills are required to volunteer on the build site. Our construction manager provides all the training and tools necessary to complete build site tasks. You just need to have a willingness to learn and give back to the community.
Q: Does Habitat have an entire construction crew?
A: Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc. only has one full-time construction manager. All other construction assistance comes from community volunteers. Without the help of volunteers, we would not have enough help to complete the projects.
Q: How many homes does Habitat of Benton County build each year?
A: The total number of homes built varies depending on amount of funding each year. Contact the Habitat office to find out current statistics.
Q: What size are Habitat Homes?
A: Most Habitat Homes are approximately 1,100 to 1,800 square feet.
Q: How do I set up planned giving for Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc.?
A: Talk to your attorney about the best way to designate funds to Habitat in your will.
Q: Do I have to donate a large amount of money to support Habitat?
A: Everyone can donate! Any donation amount helps support the Habitat mission. A gift of even $5.00 can purchase one 2x4 board for a build.
Q: How much does a Habitat home cost to build?
A: Each Habitat home costs a minimum of $80,000 to build. Many local sponsors sell materials to our organization at-cost or donate products and services, which helps
keep the cost low.
Q: Does Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., require a down payment?
A: No down payment is required. However, future homeowners are required to pay closing costs and invest 400 hours of Sweat Equity. The closing costs are paid in
advance of the closing. If the future homeowner fails to meet the requirements of the partnership-housing program, the closing costs are refundable.
Q: Do applicants need to have perfect credit?
A: No, but a decent or repairable credit is important. Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., examines both the credit history and the credit score of the applicant(s). All collections must be paid off prior to closing. No bankruptcies within the last 3 years.
Q: What items does Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., consider in the applicant's ability to pay?
A: Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., considers any information available on the credit report, which includes: revolving credit (credit cards), car loans, student loans, deferred student loans, installment loans (with more than 9 months left to pay on the loan), etc.
THE HABITAT HOUSING PROGRAM
Q: Are Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc. homes free?
A: No. This is a common misconception. Habitat for Humanity homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable home mortgage.
Q: Where does Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc. build?
A: Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., builds homes across Benton county. We are limited in many areas due to the increasing cost of suitable lots on which to build houses.
Q: What is Sweat Equity?
A: Sweat Equity is the physical labor future homeowners invest in building Habitat for Humanity homes or in volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., ReStore or administrative offices. Future homeowners are required to complete 400 hours of Sweat Equity by the time of closing. Sweat Equity does not qualify as a down payment and has no monetary value. The investment is intended to contribute to three fundamental goals in the Habitat for Humanity program: Partnership, pride of ownership and development of skills and knowledge.
Q: How long does the Housing Program process take?
A: The Housing Program process may take 12 to 18 months from submitting the initial application to being selected as a future homeowner. If you are approved for a house, it can take up to 1 year for the completion of your house. This time frame varies depending on the number of homes under construction, weather, volunteer support, and family participation.
Q: Who funds Benton County Habitat houses?
A: Individuals, businesses, faith communities, civic organizations, grants, and our ReStore fund Habitat houses. In addition, mortgage payments from our homeowners go back into our program to fund future home construction.