Frequently Asked Questions
Midcoast Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ecumenical organization, which, through partnerships with individuals, local companies, civic organizations and government, builds safe, decent, affordable housing and provides homeownership opportunities to low-income families. Each year, Midcoast Habitat builds one home and weatherizes many more in Knox County, Maine.
Midcoast Habitat serves hard-working, low-income families who are currently living in sub-standard and/or overcrowded housing, who meet Habitat homeownership requirements, and who would not be served by traditional lending agencies. We target families who earn an income below the median income of our community.
The most visible benefit to Knox County is the physical change that takes place in the neighborhoods where Habitat homes are built. Vacant lots are replaced by new homes where families live surrounded by well-kept yards. Less visible is the economic impact of a Habitat home. The new homeowners begin to pay real estate taxes on their properties once they move in. For example, a vacant lot contributes as little as $25 yearly in taxes, while a Habitat home, depending on its value, can contribute as much as $3,000.
Midcoast Habitat builds in Knox County. We have built homes in Camden, Rockland, Hope, South Hope, and Thomaston. Finding suitable building lots is growing increasingly difficult in the Rockland/Thomaston area and we are continually looking for affordable sites.
Midcoast Habitat’s Family Selection Committee carefully screens applicants. Families are chosen on the basis of need, ability to pay an interest-free mortgage for 20 to 35 years, and willingness to provide 500 hours of sweat equity (2 adult family). Additional requirements are listed in the Family Selection area of the website.
No. Habitat is a “hand up,” not a handout. As an investment in their homes, our partner families agree to contribute hours of sweat equity. This includes working on their own home or other Habitat homes and attending homeownership and budgeting workshops. Each family has a mortgage that is repaid over 20 to 35 years based on affordability guidelines. Interest-free monthly payments include taxes, insurance, and maintenance escrow, and are, on average, $600 per month. Each house is appraised prior to closing, and the difference between the first mortgage and the appraised value becomes a silent second note, which is forgiven at the rate of 10% yearly over the first ten years of payments. If the family stays in the home 10 or more years and remains in good standing, this second note is forgiven. The home is fully owned by the family at the end of the mortgage.
Partner families contribute 500 hours of sweat equity in service to Midcoast Habitat working on their own home, helping with other Habitat houses, and contributing to other projects and ___________________