About Hancock County Habitat for Humanity
Hancock County HFH (HCHH), an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is an independent, locally run, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose primary program is partnering with economically disadvantaged families to build simple, decent homes which are then sold to the partner, financed under an affordable mortgage.
We offer homeownership opportunities to families who have demonstrated:
need (for adequate shelter)
e.g. family is extremely “cost-burdened” and/or is receiving temporary, non-sustainable financial support; current housing has defective physical conditions, is overcrowded, and/or is a temporary living situation
a willingness to partner
as Habitat ambassadors/spokespersons; through investing 250 hours of their own “sweat equity” in the project per adult (up to 500 per household); by participating in home maintenance and financial management counseling sessions
the ability to pay
the mortgage [Often, families pay less to own a Habitat home than they pay for rent on a substandard apartment or house.] Financial eligibility guidelines include but are not limited to: being unable to obtain conventional financing and earning between 30% to 80%+/- of Hancock County’s median annual income.
Note: It is important to understand that our Partners are not buying their house to “flip it” and make a quick profit.
HCHH and our volunteer and donors’ investment is protected by the affiliate taking a second “silent” mortgage on the property. Each home is independently appraised prior to closing to establish its Fair Market Value (FMV) and the difference between the first mortgage (priced based on affordability) and the appraised value becomes the silent second note. This secondary mortgage is gradually forgiven — provided there is no recorded default under the terms of the mortgage. Thus, when the first mortgage is paid off, the second mortgage has also been fully released.
Through the use of volunteer labor and donations we respond to the need in our community by building market-quality housing along-side the homeowner who is investing their own “sweat equity” in the project. [Hancock County Habitat makes special sweat equity accommodations for partners who have an ADA-documented need.]
Each Habitat affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area — fundraising, building site selection, partner selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing.
No prior construction experience is required to volunteer on a Habitat construction site. (Due to state laws, minors must be 16 years or older to serve on the construction site and all under the age of 18 must arrive with a volunteer form signed by their parent or guardian.)
Non-construction volunteer opportunities include serving in our office, on a committee (Partner Selection & Support, Development and Fundraising, and Building), and/or on the Board of Directors.
Our first home was completed in the summer of 1991 in Gouldsboro, two years after our founding.
Since then, we have completed homes in Bar Harbor, Bass Harbor, Brooklin, Bucksport, Ellsworth, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Otis, Seal Harbor, Sedgwick, and Sullivan for a total of 19 homes built in 13 of the 37 towns in our 1,500+ [land] square mile service area…with another soon to start in 2021 in Blue Hill.
Habitat for Humanity International
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International and its local affiliates have served more than 13.2 million people worldwide through new or improved places to live [according to a 2017 announcement by HFHI]. This milestone was accomplished by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all. Our success can be seen in our collective ranking as among the largest residential homebuilders in the U.S. For more information on HFH International’s mission, please click here.