A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
About Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization that strives to eliminate substandard housing locally and worldwide by building, rehabilitating, and preserving homes. Habitat also advocates for fair and just housing policies. Habitat for Humanity believes that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.
All Are Welcome
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy. All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes homeowners, volunteers, supporters, and staff from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnic or religious background, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or familial status, height, weight, disability, veteran status, or any other class protected by law, in accordance with all federal and state laws.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
In 1983, a group of inspired Kalamazoo leaders took a leap of faith to create opportunities for low-income families to build and buy affordable homes in our community. They founded Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity (Habitat), now one of the oldest Habitat affiliates in the country. Thanks to our founders’ vision and the support of the community, more than 200 families have become Habitat homeowners.
Building on our vision of a world where everyone deserves a decent place to live, Habitat launched a home repair program in 2014. Based on the core principles of our homeownership program, our repair program helps low-income homeowners who need an affordable option to preserve their homes. In a typical year, Habitat builds or rehabs and sells four homes and completes 12-16 critical home preservation projects.
Our core commitment to affordable housing has not changed. We embrace a holistic approach to ending poverty housing by transforming communities. Habitat is fully committed to providing programs that help build a strong foundation for families and individuals working towards a more sustainable future.
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Housing
For thousands of hard-working, low-income families in Kalamazoo County and the southeast corner of Allegan County, homeownership is out of reach and affordable, good quality rental housing is hard to find. The statistics are grim: unsafe, unhealthy, inadequate housing is often the only option, and it is costly. Many families are forced to spend too much of their income on shelter, making other basic necessities unaffordable.
Habitat’s affordable mortgages and no-profit homes help families achieve homeownership.
Habitat also works to help existing low-income homeowners preserve their homes affordably. Habitat’s home repair program helps low-income homeowners preserve the integrity of their homes with no-profit repair services and affordable loans.
The housing stock in our community is aging. For example, the city of Kalamazoo reports that 68% of residential units located in city neighborhoods was built before the 1970s. In the Eastside neighborhood, where Habitat focuses much of our work, 52% of homes were built before 1939. Many of the older homes are not energy efficient and are in different stages of disrepair. Current low-income homeowners report the unsafe conditions these homes present — mold issues, structural damage, and inaccessibility to those aging in their homes or with disabilities. With over 30% of their income going to housing costs, and often another 30% toward energy costs, the working poor and those living on fixed incomes are unable to maintain their homes — their primary asset.
Through Shelter, We Build Stability
Why is homeownership so empowering? When a family owns an affordable, sound home, it builds financial equity and encourages self-esteem and self-reliance. Because we understand both the great need and the far-reaching results that are possible, we are able to offer a program that brings true benefit to families. The entire community is lifted when families are able to build financial and social capital.
A Brighter Future
Everything we need to address the housing crisis is right here in our community. The motivated families. The volunteers. The financial resources. Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity brings them all together to create a forceful chain reaction that improves many lives—for many years.