Hometown Highlight: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg
The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg is a nonprofit organization that enhances neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing for deserving families in Fredericksburg, Texas. Habitat was originally established in 1995 to serve the residents of Gillespie County and has completed construction on 18 affordable homes in the Fredericksburg area.
The charity is a “hand-up” program that empowers families and assists them with transitioning from homelessness, poverty, and unsafe housing. Each family goes through an application process and is interviewed before being selected to move into a house. Each family must also contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” to build their own home or the homes of their neighbors. On average, Habitat receives 50-75 applications per house.
“We love to provide homes for families with children and give families a healthy and safe place to thrive.,” said Becky Melton, FCB Branch Manager and Treasurer for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg.
Habitat relies on donor contributions for their home building program. The program is funded through partnerships with corporations, foundations, faith community organizations, other community organizations and individuals. To build a home, it costs approximately $150,000 and the process takes about a year for them to build a home and select a family for the home.
“We are always in need of donations whether that be materials such as light fixtures, building equipment, or any supplies that go into building a home,” Melton said. “We always accept monetary donations and use them to purchase items that go into building a house.”
To make their mission possible of building homes for families in need, Habitat relies on community volunteers and local contractors. Volunteers help build the homes and raise funds to ensure that the homes continue to be affordable for low-income families. No profit is made or included in the sales price of the home and no interest is charged to the family on their mortgage.
In addition to providing families with more affordable mortgages and better-quality housing, families in return have more income available to contribute to the Fredericksburg economy. Melton said many Habitat homeowners invest their savings from monthly housing costs in additional education and training which increases their potential earnings.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fredericksburg works to build simple, decent, and affordable housing for people in need while striving to make the community better and the people within it.
“It is truly an amazing opportunity for people who would not be able to own their own home otherwise, and the process is great to be a part of when we are able to provide a home for a family in need,” Melton said.