No matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to have a decent life. We deserve to feel the strength and stability day after day. We deserve to know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures. At Habitat for Humanity, this is what unites us. Our shared vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Because you, me, we – we’re all humans. And every single one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future.
The Need in Chicago
Chicago has recently seen dramatic increases in cost-burdened renters and owners across every income group, reflecting a growing instability and housing insecurity in our city: nearly half of Chicago adults spend more than 30% of their income on housing.1
This is a critical issue, as quality housing conditions are essential to healthy families and communities. Research shows the value of quality, stable, and affordable housing and demonstrates that it is critical to drive positive outcomes in many aspects of people's lives: such as improving school performance, bettering financial outcomes, and enhancing the physical and mental health of both children and adults.
While it's incredibly important that individuals and families have a healthy and affordable home, we believe that it's equally important to holistically support entire communities. In Chicago, we know that neighborhoods are drivers of individual well-being, so we concentrate our work and investments into specific neighborhoods to maximize our impact. Currently, we are at work, in partnership with local residents, in the West Pullman, Greater Grand Crossing, and Austin neighborhoods. Our programs and services include:
Affordable Homeownership - Habitat Chicago’s Affordable Homeownership Program is designed for the long term health and stability of Chicago households and neighborhoods. Qualifying homebuyers meet three basic criteria: 1) demonstrate a need for affordable housing; 2) have the ability to repay a home loan; 3) are willing to partner in our program. At the end, each homebuyer become neighbors in one of our focus neighborhoods, living in healthy and sustainable homes built by themselves, volunteers (like our Women Builders!), and Habitat Chicago construction staff.
Homebuyer University - Habitat Chicago is invested in the vitality of housing markets as a source of welfare to its residents; a well-prepared homeowner investing in their neighborhood through homeownership, property taxes, local spending, and social capital, regardless of their lender, only improves that vitality. Homebuyer University is designed to ready individuals for home purchase and homeownership. At the end of the program, individuals opt to pursue the best homeownership option for their situation, be it a non-traditional loan through Habitat Chicago, a semi-traditional loan through a nonprofit lending partner, or a traditional loan through a bank or similar lender.
Neighborhood Grants - Our Neighborhood Grants Initiative offers small grants to residents in our focus neighborhoods. Through this initiative, residents bring their improvement projects to life to make a positive impact in their community. Recipients have organized everything from physical projects like murals and porch repairs to social projects like basketball tournaments and block parties. Take a look at some of the projects we have funded to-date!