Frequently Asked Questions About Habitat for Humanity

What is San Diego Habitat for Humanity (SDHFH)?

San Diego Habitat for Humanity (SDHFH) is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and serves San Diego County.  It is an autonomous 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  It is governed locally, raises funds locally and builds locally.  It is a housing ministry based on Christian principles and seeks to eliminate substandard, unsafe, unaffordable housing in San Diego County.

How does the Habitat program work? Are homes given away?

Habitat's programs are focused on creating homes for ownership by low-income families in need.  They are not given away.  Habitat homes are sold to Partner Families at no profit and are financed by a 0%-interest 25 to 30-year mortgage.  The mortgage payments create a revolving fund that Habitat uses to construct future homes for local families in need.

Habitat partner families qualify for our program by:

  1. showing a demonstrated need for improved housing,
  2. a willingness to partner with Habitat by committing to 250-500 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their own homes,
  3. and the ability to repay the 0%-interest, 25 to 30-year mortgage. 

Is there a difference between SDHFH and Habitat for Humanity International?

Yes.  SDHFH is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), in much the same way a franchise works.  SDHFH utilizes the brand, the program and support services from HFHI in carrying out its local mission.  SDHFH focuses its homebuilding efforts within San Diego County, while Habitat for Humanity International carries out programs in countries all over the world.

SDHFH commits to a certain percentage of its yearly unrestricted income to aid HFHI in its international efforts, and has helped build homes in Cambodia, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Tanzania, and Thailand.

How does SDHFH build such affordable homes?

In order to build these homes, Habitat utilizes approximately 5,000 volunteers each year.  Anyone who is willing to lend their time and energy can help build a home.  When a volunteer works side by side with a future homeowner, they learn the true story of the need for affordable housing and of the strength and perseverance of their neighbors.  They learn that it is easy to change lives by spending some time in the sunshine, learning new skills and making new friends. 

By using mostly volunteer labor, Habitat saves on expensive labor costs.  By partnering with local governments to secure land and with builders and contractors to secure donations of building materials, Habitat saves on the ever increasing costs of property and supplies.  Through the efforts of our generous sponsors and volunteers, we pass a significant savings on to the homeowners.

How many homes has SDHFH built?

Since its founding in San Diego in 1988, SDHFH has built 187 homes, serving 809 men, women, and children, with the help of 156,000 volunteers.

How can I help?

SDHFH can only continue it's important mission with the support of generous volunteers and donors like YOU!  Volunteer or donate today to help Habitat continue to strengthen communities and transform lives.


Can't find the answer to your question on our website? Contact us at 619-283-4663.