Frequently Asked Questions
What is Habitat for Humanity? Millard and Linda Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976. The Rutherford County affiliate began operation in 1989. Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to the elimination of inadequate and substandard housing around the world. Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity (RCHFH) is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in Rutherford County. Today, we have built over 100 new homes in our community.
Does RCHFH give houses away?
No. The families in our program buy the homes that we build together. Each family is required to work 300-400 sweat equity hours depending on the makeup of the family, and to attend a 30 week Homeowner’s Education class.. After the construction is completed, houses are sold at no profit and are mortgaged with no interest.
How much do people pay for RCHFH houses?
The average cost of a Habitat home in Rutherford County is $80,000. That cost includes the land and construction of the home. Mortgages average 30 years in length with average monthly payments of $480. A portion of this payment is held in escrow to pay for property taxes and homeowner insurance.
Who qualifies for RCHFH houses and how are RCHFH Partner Families chosen?
Applicants must be Rutherford County residents who earn between 30% and 50% of the median income for the area. Among other requirements, the applicants must demonstrate that their current housing is substandard and that they have a desire and the ability to commit to being homeowners. Any individual interested in applying for the program should call 890-5877 ext. 103 for more information. Families are chosen without regard to cultural background, color, creed, disability, familial status, or race, sex, or religion. Families applying for Habitat housing must demonstrate need (living in substandard housing), ability to pay a small non-interest bearing note, and willingness to work sweat equity. RCHFH’s Family Selection Committee reviews applications and conducts home visits to the current residences of the families. The committee evaluates the applicants and brings its recommendations before the board of directors for approval. Families are chosen without regard cultural background, sex, handicap, religion, or station in life.
How can I get involved?
If you would like to volunteer your time and energy to help us build or organize the projects you may fill out the Volunteer Interest Form online. You can also call us at 615.890.5877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved with Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity. We appreciate your interest!
Download the Speakers Bureau List (also below)
The Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity (www.rchfh.org) is a licensed contractor and, as of January 2018, we have built 150 homes since our first house was finished and dedicated to a Habitat for Humanity Partner Family 25 years ago. In addition to information about construction, home building and home maintenance, we have knowledge and expertise in many areas, including Personal Finance & Household Budgeting, Recycling and Repurposing, Volunteering and Community Service, local services for the “working poor” in Rutherford County, the impact of home ownership on families and neighborhoods, and the economic impact of Habitat for Humanity on the community.
Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity (RCHFH) experts are available for free for interviews and quotes as well as blogs and regular columns. We can also sometimes arrange for Board members, Partner Family members, knowledgeable volunteers and/or Company Partners to join in the conversation.
SPEAKERS & SUBJECTS:
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY & PARTNER FAMILIES
- Terri Shultz, Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity, Executive Director
- Partner Family Education Director Regina Harvey
- Melissa Cross, Development Director
- “America’s Working Poor” and Housing Issues(including specifics about Rutherford County)Habitat for Humanity (our mission & history, Habitat International, etc.)Applying to be a Habitat Partner Family (qualifications, commitment, etc.)The Impact of Habitat Homeownership on the Partner Families (job, health, children, education) and the Community (neighborhood revitalization, increased tax base, increased property values, lowered government costs for services, increased disposable income & spending, etc.)Donating to Habitat (90% to local Habitat – 10% tithe to Habitat International – no admin costs, Corporate Partnerships & Sponsorships, Planned Giving, Appreciated Assets Giving, etc.)
- “Financial Education”:Regina Harvey, Dominion Financial Management, www.dominionfinancial.org (Regina leads the Homeowner Financial Education Program for RCHFH.)
- Personal Finances (how to reduce debt to income ratio, credit scores, applying for a mortgage, etc.)Household Budgeting (average costs and tracking)Consumer Advice: Avoiding Scams and Predatory LendingConsumer Advice: Making Wise Purchases for Household Items (ie appliances, yard care, fixtures, etc.)Budgeting for Home Maintenance (monthly & yearly)Saving for a Rainy Day (unexpected costs and ways to fund)
CONSTRUCTION, BUILDING, HOME MAINTENANCE & HOUSEHOLD DIY
- RCHFH Construction Manager Roy Saylor(other construction experts available)
- RCHFH Development Director Melissa Cross (for some subjects – as a former Producer with Home & Garden TV and the DIY Network)
- Building a House (and general construction)Home Maintenance (ie heating & air, caulking, pest control, etc.)
- Tools for the Homeowner (good Father’s Day story or general about what tools every homeowner should have – and what they don’t need)
- Consumer Advice: Home Improvement Choices (ie wood vs laminate flooring, windows & doors, gas vs electric, heating & air, siding, roofing, appliances, etc.)
- ADA Compliant & Universal Design (building for people with disabilities, accessibility issues, wheel-chair bound, elderly)
- Energy Efficiency (EnergyStar ratings, appliances, water, electricity, etc.)Winterizing a Home (or other seasons)
- DIY Tips & Repairs (plumbing, walls, cabinets, etc.)
RECYCLING & RE-PURPOSING
- RCHFH ReStore Manager Josh Chappell
- RCHFH Development Director Melissa CrossRCHFH
- Construction Manager Roy Saylor
- General Recycling and Resources in Rutherford County, including the Habitat ReStore (good Earth Day story)
- Re-Purposing and ReUsing (including décor crafts)
- Home Improvement DIY (ie: Installing a Door, Installing Laminate Flooring, Replacing a Tile, Installing a Commode, Caulking, etc.)
- Habitat ReStore (how & what to donate, typical donated items and greatly discounted prices, new products that we stock, how home improvement improves lives)
VOLUNTEERING & COMMUNITY SERVICE
Guest: Megan Hutchings, RCHFH Volunteer Coordinator
- Volunteering for a Habitat Build (what to expect, skills, employee engagement, construction schedule, etc.)
- Community Service in Rutherford County
- RCHFH Events & Sponsorship Opportunities