Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity constructs simple, decent, affordable homes and sells them at cost to working families who are at or below 60% of the median household income and who live in substandard rental housing.
The Community Need
There is not enough affordable housing for low-income working Vermont families in our community. More than half of the renters in Chittenden County lack affordable housing, because there aren’t enough rental properties and the lack of enough rental properties results in high rent costs. This shortage of rental properties unfortunately means that some landlords don’t maintain their properties. As a result, many families live in apartments with unsafe electrical and plumbing services, mold, poor insulation and high energy bills. As rents increase, or the rental properties are sold, families have no other choice than to move.
The median cost to buy a house in Chittenden County is $261,000, far out of reach of low-income working families. Their paychecks go to inflated rent, utility bills, food, childcare, and healthcare, leaving little to save for a down payment. They don’t qualify for conventional mortgages because their incomes are too low so they are forced to stay in substandard rental housing.
Who We Help
In order to qualify for a GMHfH home, a family must have an income of less than 60% of the median income in our community, must be living in substandard housing and must complete 400 sweat equity hours (200 for a single adult) helping to build their home or working at the Habitat ReStore.
Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity builds decent, simple and very energy-efficient homes and sells them at cost to low-income families who have been living in substandard rental housing. We are able to keep the cost of the home as low as possible for our partner families by depending on volunteers to help build the houses, to work with our staff of 3 and to help at our Habitat ReStore.
We must raise all of our funding locally and receive NO funding from Habitat for Humanity International. We are funded by:
- Local donations from individuals and grants
- Mortgage payments from our current Partner Families
- Revenue from the Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Williston.
We use funding to purchase land, purchase building materials and hire any needed tradespeople to build the homes. We have built 66 homes in Chittenden County since our inception in 1984 and want to build more to meet the need in our community.
By providing the opportunity for lower income working families to own a safe, energy-efficient home, GMHfH is providing a permanent solution to substandard housing, one Habitat family at a time.
Homeownership Helps Families in Our Community
This “ hand-up” to a home of their own enables families to leave substandard housing, put their family into a safe and energy-efficient home, establish or improve their credit rating, provide a positive model for their children and break the cycle of poverty. Children who live in a stable, safe home are more successful in school, and have fewer behavioral and emotional challenges.