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Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976. There are more than 1,500 local Habitat affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. 


Since 1976, Habitat has helped more than 6.8 million people find strength, stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. 

Here at Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha & Jefferson Counties, we often get asked the same questions by those seeking to understand what Habitat does.  Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions and myths explained. 

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Does Habitat for Humanity give away houses for free?

No! Habitat believes in giving a hand up, not a handout. The price of available housing in Waukesha & Jefferson is too high for most hardworking lower-income families. Habitat partner families buy their homes at an affordable cost with an affordable mortgage. They also receive support from Habitat throughout the course of their mortgage to ensure timely payments.


What is "sweat equity?"

Our homeowners spend time and effort making their dream of homeownership a reality. Sweat Equity is our version of a downpayment. Each adult must contribute time volunteering at our ReStore or working on the job site to build their home. Not only does each homeowner gain skills and meet new people in this process, but they also get the satisfaction of playing a key role in improving their circumstances. Our recent homeowner Noel said, "you take pride in something you personally own," especially when you have built it by hand. 

Does Waukesha & Jefferson County really need a Habitat affiliate?

Yes! Although Waukesha & Jefferson County is more affluent than surrounding areas, this is exactly why housing issues need to be addressed. Land and cost of living are more expensive, leaving thousands of lower-wage earners struggling to get by. Our neighborhood revitalization projects are making a lasting impact in Waukesha & Jefferson, a strong step toward affordable housing for all our residents. 


How can I get involved in helping our community?

Habitat of Waukesha & Jefferson County has a variety of ways for you to volunteer, participate in events, and provide financial support. If you can't find what you're looking for on the website, please call our office at 262-309-6025 or email for specific inquiries.


How do I start the Habitat Homeowner process?

Habitat considers various factors when choosing its partner families, primarily a family's need for housing, ability to repay, and willingness to partner. Each family must also complete "sweat equity" during the home process. We encourage you to research and apply to our program.


Visit Become A Homeowner for more information on how to apply.


What if I don’t qualify for a home?

Habitat collaborates with many community-centric organizations and may be able to refer you to another organization that can assist with your needs. Habitat can also tell you what you need to do to qualify for a home in the future.


Habitat also advocates for more affordable housing to local governments in Waukesha & Jefferson County's communities.


Do I have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner?

No. Habitat for Humanity was founded as, and still is, a Christian ministry. However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, creed, or nationality—following all the requirements of the law and Habitat's belief that God's love extends to all. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths—or no faith—who actively embrace the goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world. 


How does the ReStore help Habitat achieve it's mission?

100% of the proceeds of the ReStore goes back towards funding our mission.  

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