We would like to thank Big City Bread for providing lunch to Athens Area Habitat for Humanity volunteers during our recent builds.
Athens Area Habitat does more than just build houses. In partnership with donors, families, government agencies, local businesses, volunteers, and other non-profits, we seek innovative solutions to providing strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter!
Athens Habitat creates home-ownership opportunities for families “on the cusp,” with the ability to make monthly payments, but not at for-profit rates. We accomplish this by building homes at-cost, with those costs reduced by local and national non-profit discounts, gifts-in-kind from manufacturers, on-site volunteers, and in some cases sponsorships and grants. Since our founding in 1988, Athens Area Habitat has averaged two to three new homes per year in our service area.
To further ensure cost-manageability, we service zero-interest loans to lower our partner families’ monthly payments and put their entire payment into equity. In the case that a family moves out before the mortgage is fully paid — whether they’ve outgrown the home, or found higher-paying work requiring relocation, or any other reason — we will buy the home back, make any necessary updates, and resell it to another qualifying family.
Not only does this provide added security for the homeowner, it also prevents Habitat houses from being purchased and “flipped” on the for-profit market.
Athens Area Habitat pioneered the Habitat rental program, which went national in 2019. Our ReNew Athens program rehabilitates abandoned multi-family properties to make them liveable again. We then provide rental housing to very low income residents of our area, many of them on fixed incomes, keeping monthly payments to about 30% of monthly income.
Payments received from leases, as well as mortgages, flow back into our general fund, and are used to maintain and improve properties, and to pay up-front costs of initial home construction and renovation, creating a virtuous cycle which helps us continue to build our community.
When a homeowner becomes disabled, sometimes it means a choice between leaving the home they own or becoming a shut-in. Our AIM (Accessibility Improvement Modifications) program assists Clarke County residents facing this situation by providing needed home modifications to improve accessibility. Our Brush With Kindness program assists low-income homeowners in Clarke County facing essential repair needs exceeding their budgets.
Through innovative local partnerships, Athens Area Habitat is able to help youths and families overcome homelessness and go on to live fruitful and productive lives. Together with Lydia’s Place, we’ve created off-campus housing for young adults coming from a background of homelessness who are earning degrees at area colleges and universities. And in partnership with Family Promise of Athens, we’ve created transitional apartments for homeless families receiving assistance to get them back on their feet.
Donors to our ReStores help keep Athens-Clarke Animal Services clean, and their dogs and cats happy while they await adoption. While most of our unsold clothing and linens are recycled, towels and blankets are set aside for delivery to the shelter, where they are used for cleaning and bedding, thereby reducing costs to the county and taxpayers.
Athens Area Habitat researches and advocates for housing practices and policies and with a demonstrated track record of lowering housing costs, improving housing quality, reducing environmental impacts of construction, correcting housing labor shortages, encouraging sustainable development, and more. From events like our Housing Code Hack, to projects such as our Kinda Tiny Homes and Build With Strength house, along with advocacy for common-sense reforms, we leverage our knowledge of housing to make life better for everyone in our area, across the state, and throughout the nation.
Building the Community | The Giving Spirit | Volunteer Spotlight | Local Partners | What We’re Up To | Homeowner Tips Greetings, Habitat nation! There’s so much going on here at Habitat, it’s hard to know where to start. While there is great need for cost-manageable housing right now, support for our mission is stronger Read More
Building the Community | The Giving Spirit | Volunteer Spotlight | Local Partners | What We’re Up To | Homeowner Tips Greetings, Habitat nation! So much is going on these days, sometimes we can barely keep up. But hey, that’s why we’re here! Some of our new projects are pending grant approval — keep your Read More
Building the Community | The Giving Spirit | Volunteer Spotlight | Local Partners | What We’re Up To | Homeowner Tips Greetings, Habitat nation! It’s been a long year, in many ways a difficult year, but also a hopeful one for us. We’ve faced new variants of the covid virus, supply shortages, cost increases, and Read More