Putting faith into action, Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties partners with families in need and volunteers to transform lives through decent and affordable housing.
To empower families by securing their own homes, transform neighborhoods, improve the quality of life within the communities we serve and positively affect the lives of partner families, volunteers and others that come into contact with Habitat. Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties serves thousands of people each year with the opportunities to volunteer and give back to their community, as well as hundred of individuals, and families who now have a place to call home. Over the past 30 years, HFHBMC has built over 200 homes in the Burlington and Mercer counties.
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat operates through local affiliates so that all functions can have maximum relevance to individual communities. Habitat for Humanity internationals movement began in Americus, GA in 1976 with Millard and Linda Fuller. They founded Habitat with the conviction that every person deserves a decent place to live. They believed that communities can come together to make this possible for their neighbors in need.
Over the last few months, we have witnessed the unyielding dedication within our communities and from our partners, shining light through clouds of uncertainty. We know that we are stronger together when facing these challenging times, which is why Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties has merged with Atlantic County Habitat for Humanity. We feel blessed to have this opportunity to join forces and build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter from river to shore.
We are so lucky to have the passionate volunteers and supporters of Atlantic County Habitat as well as the leadership of the Board of Directors and Amanda McGowan, Executive Director, who will now serve as the Regional Program Director. Our combined efforts over the years have brought 273 new and 152 repaired homes for hardworking families in need. Together, we will now serve over 1.1 Million residents across 75 municipalities through the Affordable Homeownership Program, Neighborhood Revitalization, and 3 ReStores.
The merger allows the affiliate to streamline operations and consolidate overhead expenses by pooling their resources, boards and expertise. Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties will pursue mobilizing volunteers and community partners to provide affordable housing and promote homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Over the next couple of months, staff and volunteers will continue to serve their respective communities, but will now do so as one merged organization.
Habitat for Humanity Burlington County will not proselytize, nor will Habitat for Humanity work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to the financial advantages of owning a home, there are many social benefits of owning a home as well. Homeownership gives family stability, creates lower high school dropout rates, and of course gives the opportunity to create meaningful and lasting relationships.
On achievement tests, children of homeowners score 9% higher in reading and 7% higher in math than children of renters.
By age 20, children of homeowners were half as likely to be idle and rely on welfare as an adult.
Neighborhoods with at least an 80% rate of homeownership generate a $5,000 premium on house prices in the area.
The Housing Need in Burlington and Mercer Counties
According to a report titled “Out of Reach” published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the estimated rent on a typical two-bedroom apartment in Burlington County is $1,211 per month and $1,364 in Mercer County. This means that a worker would need to work 117 hours at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market value.
All Habitat Homes are Built Following Three Principles:
Simple: Habitat homes are modestly-sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family’s needs but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs to a minimum.
Decent: Habitat for Humanity uses quality, locally-available building materials. Habitat house designs reflect the local climate and culture.
Affordable: The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.
Habitat sells homes to low-income families and offer 0% interest loans with no down payment required. Habitat homeowners make monthly mortgage payments that don’t exceed 30% of their gross monthly income.
Habitat homeowners work hard to create a permanent solution to their housing struggles. Each Habitat partner family must complete 250 to 400 hours of “sweat equity” to build their home and the homes of other Habitat families, work in our ReStores, and attend Home Buyer Education classes, meetings, and special events. Sweat equity can be done during the week, in the evenings and on the weekends.
Habitat does not give away houses. We sell them to hard-working families who partner with us. Qualified families must show that they have a Need for Housing, are Willing to Partner with Habitat for Humanity and are Able to Pay for a Habitat mortgage.
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties is dedicated to building decent and affordable homes. Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties homes vary in style and type. Our architects carefully design each home to be aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient. We build single-family homes and duplexes across Burlington and Mercer counties, as well as Cranbury and Plainsboro in Middlesex Countiy. In addition to new construction, we renovate and provide repairs for local homeowners in need.
Habitat homes could not be built without the generous financial and in-kind contributions donated from a variety of sources within the community. The financial support received in Habitat BMC is invested directly back into the counties. Since our inception we have built and placed over 200 families in well deserving homes. Our mission is to eliminate substandard housing in our community.
"This is yours."
Brandon is a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. He is currently a full-time employee and a full-time father to his 6-year old son. With the “hand up” assistance of Habitat, Brandon’s son is finally be able to walk into his own room and play in his own backyard since the family purchased and moved into their Habitat home in Mount Laurel in 2012. Brandon has mentioned numerous times that, what excites him the most about buying a house through Habitat for Humanity, is that he is able to walk his son to his new room and finally be able to tell him, “this is yours.”
Joanne and Joel applied to Habitat in May of 2011. At the time, they were living in a 3-bedroom apartment with their two children, Joanne’s mother, and Joanne’s grandmother. The apartment was also in a state of disrepair. Joanne wrote on her application, “the roof where we enter our residency is breaking down and I am scared that one day it might fall on one of us. Please help.” Joanne and Joel needed a “hand up.” After completing over 400 hours of sweat equity, they purchased their first home through Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program in early 2013.
"A real home."
“This is my only hope… to have a real home for my family.” This was written on Sharon’s initial application to Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program. At the time, Sharon was employed full-time and living in a 2-bedroom apartment that she shared with her daughter. Due to the tight quarters and tight budget, her son lived with a relative in a separate home, apart from his mother. Sharon was able to bring her family together again when she purchased a Habitat house in Burlington Township in 2012.
HR & Office Manager
Laura Van Booven