The Maine Innkeepers Association (MIA) is sponsoring the 14th Annual Hospitality for Humanity April 17 through May 25, 2017. 20 member properties offer 50% off the regular rate in exchange for a $35 check to Habitat for Humanity. Each member property sets its own parameters for participation. Since the program’s inception in 2004, MIA has raised over $183,000. Last year (2016), MIA collected over $26,000, a record amount.
Millard and Linda Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976. Clarence Jordan, a biblical scholar, and the Fullers developed a concept of “partnership housing”. The concept centered on people in need of adequate shelter working along side volunteers to create affordable housing. The Fullers brought the concept from a community farm outside of Americus, Georgia to Zaire in 1973. It took three years of hard work there to launch a successful house building program. The Fullers then returned to the US to create the international organization. Today, Habitat for Humanity operates in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries around the world. There are 8 local affiliates in Maine.
5 Behind The Scenes Details Of Hospitality For Humanity
Tia Anderson, Executive Director of Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, offered some behind the scene details of the MIA Hospitality for Humanity Program and how the affiliates use the funds.
- Proceeds stay in Maine
- Help hard-working families get ahead
- Home Buyer education
- Post Purchase support
Proceeds stay in Maine
The MIA Hospitality for Humanity funds go to Habitat Maine, the State Support Organization (SSO). Each of the 8 Maine affiliates has representation in the SSO. Each affiliate operate independently, yet under the basic guidelines set by International. Habitat Maine disperses the funds equally to each affiliate and/or uses the funds towards the common good of Habitat Maine. The list of the 8 Maine affiliates and accomplishments is here. The Androscoggin and Southern Kennebec Habitat affiliates are no longer in operation.
Hard Working Families get ahead
In keeping with the initial “partnership housing” concept, local Habitat for Humanity chapters select families on the following criteria
- basis of need
- the ability to volunteer 250-350 sweat-equity hours in building their home,or other affiliate projects
- the ability to pay a no-profit/no-interest mortgage.
The no-profit/no-interest loan is based on what they can afford. The family pays no more than 30% of their income on housing. Habitat for Humanity subsidizes any remaining costs. Anderson provides the following behind the scenes details for a Midcoast Habitat home
- typically costs $135,000 (3 bedroom) to build including land.
- A typical mortgage payment is approximately $600-$800 per month, including taxes and insurance. This is 35% less than the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment. This makes home ownership more affordable than renting in Knox County, thus allowing families to get ahead financially.
The Habitat model sets families up to be successful. The family has “skin in the game” and feel committed to the house they helped construct. Habitat provides home buyer education and on-going post purchase support to the families. This program is a hand up not a hand out.
Home Buyer Education
Part of the sweat equity hours takes the form of financial education. Financial education is a requirement for Habitat home ownership. Financial education includes budgeting, credit cards and credit reports, debt and loans, saving, investing and planning for the future, emergency situations, maintenance, insurance, and safety as well as Habitat homeowner mortgages. A first time homebuyer class is typically required as well.
Some Habitat houses are new construction. Others are renovations to existing houses. Habitat for Humanity also helps people repair, weatherize, and improve their own homes and neighborhoods.
Since mortgages account for less than 10% of the annual budget, donations are critical in supporting the Habitat mission.
Post Purchase Support
Habitat for Humanity serves as a resource for our homeowners for as long as they own their Habitat homes.
Hawthorn Inn’s participation
Since purchasing the Hawthorn Inn in 2014, Ted and Lisa Weiss have participated in the MIA Hospitality for Humanity program. The first year, they sent in checks totaling $140. Last year, the donations totaled $864. This is a great program. Check out our promotion and take a Spring retreat in Camden while helping hardworking families get ahead.
If you want to volunteer, during your Habitat holiday contact the affiliate in the area where you are staying. Each affiliate is working on different projects at any given time so the opportunities may vary and in some cases may be limited.