There are a few misconceptions about the process by which Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Montana provides affordable housing to Montanans. This is the first of a series of weekly blogs  to clarify some common misunderstandings. This week, we will discuss the misconceived notion that Habitat for Humanity provides homes for free to participating families Habitat families.

While often our programs are able to assist families with subsidies to the cost of a new home, all homes in Habitat of SW Montana’s programs come with a mortgage for the participant home owners. Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Montana works closely with National Affordable Housing Network (NAHN) to make sure that our prospective families qualify for our assistance and then perform credit counseling services to get them approved for a mortgage to pay for the construction of their new home. The amazing credit counselors at NAHN work with these families to raise their credit score and improve their budgeting skill to make them ready and able to own a home. The houseplans used by Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Montana, created by NAHN, are specifically designed to be affordable at the time of construction and energy-efficient to keep long-term utility costs down. 

Alongside, the affordable housing plan, Habitat for Humanity runs a mutual self-help housing program to further reduce the cost. This system essentially brings together multiple families that are interested in constructing new houses to help each other build their homes in order to reduce initial expenses. A sizable portion of housing construction costs comes from the labor that is involved in the build. Between our Habitat families dedicating their time and our amazing volunteers from the community helping their neighbors, we are able to provide safe and modern housing for families in Southwest Montana.

If you would like to see if you qualify for a Habitat Home please check out our website at http://www.habitatswmt.org/homeownership/. If you would like to volunteer to help us build these homes or work in our Resale Store please Sign Up Here. Please contact Shane with any questions at sellanson@habitatswmt.org or call our office at (406) 782-8579.

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