Habitat for Humanity Responds

8 Jan

Habitat for Humanity responded to my inquiry:

Robert –


I am sorry you were disappointed to learn about the income qualification criteria to become a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity.  Our vision is a world where no one has to live in poverty housing, and we take on that immense challenge one family at a time.  We make a profound difference in the lives of these individual homeowners for many years to come, but we also make a difference in the lives of those volunteers who help to make it happen.


Our volunteers come together from all walks of life to help their neighbors with the dream of homeownership.  We partner with the local vocational high schools and provide real world skill building.  We have volunteers who work on committees, for one-time events and on our construction site.  We strive to educate our volunteers about the work we do, but it is hard sometimes to combat misperceptions.  I’ve attached a one page handout we often give out about common “myths” about Habitat for Humanity.


We base our income criteria on HUD numbers for area median – they consider anyone making less than 80% of the Area Median Income to be “low-income”.  I’ve attached some information for your reference.  It is indeed true that there are often gaps between programs aimed at alleviating poverty, you can make too much for one and not enough for another.  This can be very frustrating.  If I could start from scratch I would certainly not envision such a patch work system.


Our partner families have to pay a mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintain their homes.  This can be a burden for someone who is extremely low-income.  But Habitat Homeownership can be something to work towards.  One of our homeowners was formerly homeless, then a renter and spent a lot of time with counselors from Valley CDC working on her credit before she applied successfully to be a Habitat Homeowner.  But every story is unique.  Here is a link to a story about another one of our homeowners: https://www.umass.edu/umacc/blog/habitat-empowers-women-and-saves-lives .


If there are any other questions I can answer for you please be in touch.


Take care,


Megan McDonough

Executive Director

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity

Office: 413-586-5430

megan@pvhabitat.org | www.pvhabitat.org

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