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Posted: 7:31 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

More About Atlanta Habitat

Habitat gives a hand up to needy families, not a hand out. Learn more!


Atlanta Habitat for Humanity photo
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Here are some frequently-asked questions about how Atlanta Habitat for Humanity works:

Do Habitat families have a mortgage?
Yes! Atlanta Habitat’s program is a 'hand-up,' not a hand-out. Families hold a 30-year mortgage with 0% interest and payments under $600 a month. The homebuyer’s down payment is $750, a portion of which is held in an escrow account for taxes and insurance.

How is the location chosen?
Atlanta Habitat looks for available land where more than one Habitat home can be built to create a stable neighborhood. The organization strives to create a critical mass of homeowners so that entire neighborhoods show visible signs of revitalization. Atlanta Habitat homes can be found in Browns Mill, Cabbagetown, Edgewood, the Lakewood area, Peoplestown, Reynoldstown and the West End, among many others.

How are the families chosen?

Prospective homeowners must:

  • Have lived or worked in the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, or nine other metro Atlanta counties served by Habitat affiliates for one year.
  • Show a steady income for at least two years.
  • Have good credit and no recent Chapter 7 or 13 history, repossessions or past-due balances.
  • Have monthly income that falls within minimum and maximum limits, depending on household size.
  • Sustain a savings account over six months.
  • Be first-time homebuyers.

Families must also do the following:

  • Complete 250 hours of 'sweat equity' on their own home or on other Atlanta Habitat houses.
  • Attend 12 homeowner education classes and hands-on maintenance seminars.
  • Make all monthly payments on time.
  • Perform ongoing maintenance on their homes.

How much does a Habitat home cost?
Each house costs approximately $100,000, depending on size and specific land costs. The work of our generous volunteers contributes significantly to helping keep costs affordable for homebuyers.

How long does it take to build an Atlanta Habitat home?
The homes go from foundation to completion in about seven weeks! The families move in about one month later.

Does Clark actually build the home?
You'd be amazed at the skills and knowledge that Clark has picked up since 1996. Yes, he does wield a mean hammer!

More about Atlanta Habitat:
Visit the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity website for the latest news and complete information on their programs, volunteer opportunities and donation opportunities. And don't forget: they ALL year long, so you can volunteer with them at any time, not just during the Clark Howard builds!

There are now 1.5 million people across the country with decent affordable housing, thanks to the hard work of volunteers like those Clark works alongside every year.