What is Midcoast Habitat for Humanity?
Midcoast Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ecumenical organization, which, through partnerships with individuals, local companies, civic organizations and government, builds safe, decent, affordable housing and provides homeownership opportunities to low-income families. Midcoast Habitat currently builds one home per year in Knox County, Maine.
Who does Habitat serve?
Midcoast Habitat serves hard-working, low-income families who are currently living in sub-standard and/or overcrowded conditions, meet Habitat homeownership requirements and would not be served by traditional lending agencies. We target families who earn an income below the median income of our community.
What does Habitat for Humanity do for our community?
The most visible benefit to Knox County is the physical change that takes place in the neighborhoods where Habitat homes are built. Vacant lots are replaced by new homes where families live surrounded by well-kept yards. Less visible is the economic impact of a Habitat home. The new homeowner begins to pay real estate taxes on his/her property once they move in. For example, a vacant lot contributes as little as $25 yearly in taxes, while a Habitat home, depending on its value, can contribute as much as $3,000.
Where does Habitat build?
Midcoast Habitat builds only in Knox County. We have built homes in Rockland, Hope, South Hope and Thomaston. Finding suitable building lots is growing increasingly more difficult in the Rockland/Thomaston area and we are continually looking for affordable sites.
How does Habitat decide who gets a house?
Midcoast Habitat's Family Selection Committee carefully screens applicants. Families are chosen on the basis of need, ability to pay an interest-free mortgage for 20 to 30 years and willingness to provide 400 hours of sweat equity. Additional requirements are listed in our Family Selection area of the website.
Are Habitat houses free?
No. Habitat is a "hand up", not a handout. As an investment in their homes, our partner families agree to provide 400 hours of sweat equity. This includes working on their own home or other Habitat homes and attending workshops on subjects like home and yard maintenance and budgeting. Each family has a mortgage that is repaid without interest over 20 to 30 years. Monthly payments, which include taxes, insurance and maintenance escrow, run on average $550 per month. Each house is appraised prior to closing, and the difference between the first mortgage and the appraised value becomes a silent second note, which is forgiven at the rate of 10% yearly after the first ten years of payments. If the family stays in the home 10 years, this second note is never repaid in cash. The home is fully owned by the family at the end of the mortgage.
Do Habitat families have to make a down payment on their homes?
No cash down payment is required. Recipients contribute 400 hours of sweat equity in service to Midcoast Habitat (working on their own home, helping with other Habitat houses, and other projects).
I want to volunteer. What opportunities are available?
See our Volunteer page.