Habitat for Humanity San Bernardino Area, Inc. is a faith based non-profit organization with the mission of eliminating poverty housing. We plan to achieve this mission by providing decent, affordable housing for low-income families by bringing together the necessary volunteers, experienced help, suppliers, city and government agencies, and families to form partnerships in an atmosphere of God’s love for all people.
The organization is based on Christian principles and is open to everyone regardless of faith, including the Board of Directors, partner families and volunteers. Habitat is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation and is included in group exemption number 8545.
Since the affiliate was incorporated in 1992, the organization has built 25 homes in Redlands, San Bernardino, Fontana, Loma Linda, Colton, Yucaipa and Highland, providing housing for more than 100 individuals.
A Hand Up, Not a Handout
This is not a giveaway program. Selected local families who receive homes must partner with Habitat and:
- Contribute 500 hours of sweat equity by participating in the actual construction of their own house and other Habitat projects;
- Make a 1% down payment including closing costs (approximately $1500 total);
- Pay approximately $500 – $700 per month for combined mortgage, tax, and insurance payments. These figures are based on an interest free loan over a period of 20 years;
- Share their story through the media.
Habitat for Humanity San Bernardino Area, Inc. is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). Founded by Millard and Linda Fuller, HFHI and its affiliates – in more than 3,000 communities in 87 countries – have built and sold more than 500,000 homes since its inception about 30 years ago.
The affiliate in the San Bernardino area was started by a group of citizens who were concerned about the number of families living at the poverty level and spending a large portion of their income on housing. These families find it difficult or impossible to qualify for conventional loan programs.
More than a quarter of the residents in San Bernardino County live at or below the poverty level. With a population of 210,000, 47% of the renters in the metropolitan area of San Bernardino have “worst case” housing needs. These households have income levels below 50% of the area’s median incomes, spend more than 50% of their income on rent, and are living in substandard housing.
Many homes in the San Bernardino area have been abandoned or boarded up, communities have become centers for crime and targets for vandalism, and more than 10,000 families in San Bernardino alone await housing assistance (from HUD). Habitat for Humanity’s philosophy is that everyone deserves a decent place to live. The organization recognizes that some families need a “hand up” and not a “hand out”; handouts are an unsustainable and short-term solution to a long-term problem. Habitat offers a “hand up” through a comprehensive program that encourages self-help and community awareness. Habitat homeowners are offered classes on home maintenance, repairs, finance, and budgeting to assist them with the transition to a fresh and sustainable lifestyle.
A sponsor is assigned to each family to help them with any difficulty that they may have with the adjustment to their new home. These sponsors visit the home regularly and provide advice.
Habitat has noticed the following results from its program:
- Families and neighborhoods take pride in themselves;
- 35% of homeowners report an improvement in children’s grades;
- The school attendance and participation of homeowners’ children improved;
- 68% of homeowners reported an improvement in their family’s finances;
- Diverse groups come together to achieve common goals, thus unifying the community;
- Individuals and groups experienced the joy of making a difference;
- The community gains productive homeowners who pay taxes and support it.