Habitat for Humanity

Today my research team and I were required to take a break from our field work. I was relieved that we had the opportunity to give back to the community. After all, this whole entire time we have been researching, we have been invading the space of both South Phoenix’s land and its people; the least we could do was harness our productivity into something that will physically benefit residents. Habitat for Humanity was an excellent choice for community service. The workers had us for approximately three hours, painting, and organizing tools, doing whatever they needed help with.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization, founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. This organization serves to help people who otherwise might not qualify for a home, to obtain affordable housing. One of the most common misconceptions that people have is that this organization primarily builds houses for homeless people, which according to the Habitat spokesperson Paul, in not necessarily the case. Requirements for receiving a house through Habitat for Humanity include, but are not limited to, being a legal resident, having a gross income between thirty and sixty-five percent of Phoenix’s median income, a good credit record, and a two year history of stable income. Applicants must also be first time home buyers, have long term debt payments less than thirty eight percent of their income, put in at least four hundred hours of sweat equity for them, and of course, demonstrate the need for safer, more spacious housing.

Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the nation, so there is definitely a need for economical house for families that work relentlessly, but do not have the adequate income. It is through Habitat for Humanity’s model of a zero-interest mortgage loan, and serving their organization that owning a house, which is the American dream, becomes possible. Habitat for Humanity’s two main South Phoenix projects demonstrate the need for these housing programs. The South Ranch Project, located near Sixteenth Street and Southern, was begun in 1995. Finished in 2002, they built well over one hundred homes, along with a community center called The Stardust House, and a children’s playground. The other project, called Villas Esperanza (Village of Hope), begun construction in the fall of two thousand two. Villa Esperanza is a ninety-three home development, located near Southern and Fifteenth Avenue. It is twenty acres and like the South Ranch project, includes a children’s park, and a home owners association. With Habitat for Humanity building more than 175,000 houses in one hundred countries, and more than 750,000 people living in houses built by them, it is very easy to see that they, without a doubt, have a crucial role in low-income communities, including South Phoenix.



  Modified 4/21/2006