About Habitat

FAQs

What is the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs?

Our mission is to build simple, decent homes and to create safe neighborhoods in partnership with God’s people in need. Habitat forms partnerships with local churches, large and small businesses, civic groups, individuals, who are dedicated to helping people in need.

What is the vision of Habitat of Humanity of Council Bluffs?

Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs will be a recognized leader, partner, and catalyst for affordable housing solutions that positively impact families, communities, and the environment.

How long has Habitat been building in Pottawattamie County?

Habitat of Humanity of Council Bluffs was formed in 1993 and completed its first home in 1994.

How does Habitat work?

We work through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat homes are sold to partner families at no profit, and are financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments “pay it forward” – they are used to build more Habitat houses!

How are homeowners selected?

Qualifying applicants must be legal residents of the United States or Permanent Resident Alien Status, have three years positive and verifiable housing history, good credit, and a household income no higher than 60% of the Pottawattamie County median income. A volunteer family selection committee reviews all qualified applicants and follows a non-discriminatory selection process, based on housing need, ability to repay the loan and the ability to partner with Habitat.

What types of families does Habitat partner with in their program?

We build houses with people in need, without regard to race or familial status. The U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale of housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status or national origin. The covenant that all local Habitat affiliates sign with Habitat for Humanity International also specifies that Habitat homeowner families are selected “according to criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, familial status or ethnic background.”

How is Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs funded?

Habitat is funded by the generosity of numerous individuals, groups and organizations. Contributions from individuals, faith organizations, businesses, foundations, Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs ReStore, United Way, Iowa West Foundation, and monthly mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners fund Habitat projects. In-kind donations of construction materials, services, and construction site lunches are also accepted and greatly appreciated.

Why do you need donations if homes are built with volunteer labor and the homeowners?

Volunteers help us keep the cost of homes affordable to our partner families. However, it costs about $90,000 to build a home, which includes building materials. Additional costs include the cost of the lot and staff that help with the family selection process, construction and more.

How many homes has Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs completed?

To date we’ve completed 87 homes in Pottawattamie County!

What type of homes do we build?

We build and renovate a mix of single family houses, townhomes and duplexes that are simple, decent and affordable.

How does Habitat benefit the community?

We build communities with the benefits of new homes rippling through neighborhoods. Studies show that families who own their own home:
• Spend more time and money to improve their home
• Take a more active role in their neighborhoods
• Participate more fully in churches, civic groups and charities
• Present less of a drain on municipal services than do renters