Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that operates in the U.S. and 90 other countries around the world. Habitat's mission is to provide low-income families the benefits of affordable home ownership by building low-cost houses using volunteer labor and donated materials and funds.
Habitat for Humanity is a 'hand up,' not a hand-out. Habitat houses are not given away for free or for less than the cost of construction. Habitat homeowners are typically families that meet a certain income criteria; for NYC, those earning between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income calculated by a formula created by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Homeowners must have decent credit scores, no accounts in collection and no felony convictions. Mortgage payments are an important source of funds for most affiliates, so it is imperative that Habitat homeowners are capable of making their mortgage payments. Homeowners must also be willing to contribute labor toward the construction of the house, what Habitat calls 'sweat equity' (between 200 and 300 hours for each adult member in the household).
Habitat operates through a network of local affiliates, numbering over 1,700 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. A Habitat affiliate typically, though not always, serves one county or a major city spanning more than one county, e.g. NYC.
Habitat charters Campus Chapters to allow high school and college students the opportunity to further the mission of Habitat for Humanity while fostering a sense of community and connecting with like-minded students at their institution. Campus Chapters have a close relationship with their local affiliate, but are student-run clubs independent of both the local affiliate and Habitat for Humanity International, the umbrella organization for Habitat affiliates worldwide.
Habitat for Humanity @ NYU is the Campus Chapter representing New York University. Habitat @ NYU participates in builds in New York and New Jersey. We volunteer with Brush With Kindness, a program organized by the NYC and Westchester affiliates involving painting and beautifying schools, churches and community centers in areas with Habitat houses. We send volunteers to help out at ReStores (retail outlets selling donated merchandise, typically furniture and appliances, to raise money for Habitat projects). We also run a Collegiate Challenge program, which sends groups of volunteers to spend a week building Habitat houses over winter and spring breaks.
NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED. Never swung a hammer? No problem. Never used a paintbrush outside of third grade art? No worries!
Volunteer for projects that seem fun to you! Don't be afraid to stretch your limits, we're willing to teach you
everything you need to know... but if you really just don't want to swing that hammer, nobody will force you
to (you're missing out, though!)
For more general information on Habitat for Humanity, see