Habitat Facts + FAQs

Our mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing Greater Fort Wayne together to build homes, communities, and hope.

LuKesha Earned

Fact #1

Habitat homes are not free.

Our partner families must complete up to 250 hours of sweat equity, pay $1,000 toward the purchase of their home, and repay an affordable mortgage — typically with 30-year terms depending on what is affordable for the family.

Since 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne has built over 261 homes empowering families in our community to purchase a home with an affordable mortgage. Proceeds from monthly payments help build more homes in Allen, Huntington, and Wells counties.

Learn more about our homeownership program.


Fact #2

People of all backgrounds, races, religions, etc. partner with Habitat to purchase a home

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne is an Equal Opportunity Lender and a Fair Housing organization. We follow a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection — neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowners. Individuals are selected for the Habitat program based on three criteria:

  • The applicant’s level of need.
  • Their willingness to partner with Habitat.
  • Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

We encourage anyone who fits in our eligibility criteria to apply during open enrollment times or reach out to us with questions.

Victory Render

Fact #3

Habitat of Greater Fort Wayne builds new homes in our community with the help of volunteers and donors to keep costs low

We focus on energy efficiency and other sustainable building techniques and materials. All homes built by Habitat of Greater Fort Wayne meet or surpass every building code in the communities where we build. We strive to build each of our homes for less than the appraised value. Cost will vary based on the home’s size — each home is appraised by an independent & licensed appraiser.

All homes must pass stringent inspections by city or county inspectors. While most work is done by volunteers, all volunteers are trained and supervised by Habitat staff. In addition, plumbing, electrical, roofing, and other skilled work is done by licensed professionals.

Victory Render

Fact #5

Founded in 1976

Habitat for Humanity was started in 1976 in Americus, Georgia by Millard and Linda Fuller. The idea for the ‘fund for humanity’ was based on Reverend Clarence Jordan’s work at Koinonia Farm. He wrote, “What the poor need is not charity but capital, not case workers but co-workers.” It’s this basic philosophy of ‘co-working’ that continues to guide our work today.

“A house is to a family what soil is to a plant. A plant needs to be rooted. A family is like that. If a family is not rooted, it will not flourish. But once a family is well-rooted, all kinds of wonderful things will begin to happen.” -Millard Fuller

Victory Render

Fact #4

Habitat homeowners help taxpayers and build stronger, more vibrant communities

The more housings costs eat up your income, the less you have to invest elsewhere. For neighbors who need to spend more than a third of their income on housing, things like healthcare, nutritious food, education, transportation, saving for the future, and investing in the local economy get harder to pay for. When you have a home that’s affordable for you, all those other areas of your community benefit as well.

Additionally, more often than not, affordable housing enhances local tax revenues by improving substandard housing stock. Instead of low or no payment of taxes by distressed properties, affordable homeowners and renters contribute to the community. 


Victory Render

Fact #6

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne was founded in 1986 and serves Allen, Huntington, and Wells counties. A Habitat affiliate is an independent local non-profit organization that acts in furtherance of the Habitat for Humanity mission.

Each Habitat affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building independently in its local area.

ReStore Truck

Fact #7

Habitat ReStore proceeds help build homes in Greater Fort Wayne

The ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Our ReStore is located at 4747 Lima Rd, Fort Wayne and proceeds are used to build strength, stability and self-reliance locally and around the world. Learn more:

We're Stronger Together.

Become a Habitat Partner Today!


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Habitat give away homes for free?

No. All Habitat homeowners must complete up to 250 hours of sweat equity, pay $1,000 toward the purchase of their home and repay an affordable mortgage on the home.

How much does a house cost?

Here at Habitat we strive to build each of our homes for less than the appraised value.

Does the cost vary by house size?
Yes, homes are appraised by an independent & licensed appraiser. So, when a home has additional square footage it will vary in price.
What are the terms of the mortgage?

Mortgages are financed with terms depending on what is affordable for each specific family.

Where does the mortgage money go? Does that help fund more homes?

Mortgage payments are received by Habitat. That money goes directly back into the organization, allowing Habitat to invest in additional housing opportunities in the community. This sustainable revolving revenue stream is known as the Fund for Humanity.

How do I sign up for the program?

Please see our general qualifications for our homeownership program here: Homeownership page. For any questions, contact Habitat at 260.422.4828 or email for more information.

Once a family is in the program, what do they have to do before Habitat starts building their home? How many hours do they have to have, etc.?

All families who are accepted into Habitat’s homeownership program are required to complete up to 250 hours of sweat equity which includes  homebuyer education, working at the Habitat ReStore and building at the construction site.

What happens to the money I donate to Habitat?

Donations made to Habitat help support Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities and hope. All donors can designate their investment into Habitat wherever their interests or desired support lies- some donors choose to give directly to a home build or the Habitat ReStore. If a designation is not made, donations go toward whatever is the greatest need at the time.

How can I help Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne?

Habitat for Humanity offers multiple ways for individuals to join us in our efforts to make the dream of homeownership a reality for hardworking families. Whether it’s swinging a hammer, stocking items at the ReStore, providing a meal to our volunteers on the job site, or serving on one of our volunteer committees, there is a place for you to participate in Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities, and hope.

Get involved by volunteering or donating

Where can I recycle aluminum cans to benefit Habitat of GFW?

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.