About Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity

Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with hard-working local families in Strafford & Rockingham Counties.

 

SENH Vision Statement

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated. Habitat believes that the home is a key catalyst in helping to permanently break the cycle of poverty.

SENH Mission Statement

The mission of Southeast New Hampshire (SENH) Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate poverty housing in Southeast New Hampshire. We envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live, seeking to put God’s love into action, and bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to strengthen families and communities through affordable homeownership opportunities. SENH Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with corporations, like-minded community groups, faith-based organizations, and individual volunteers to develop communities by building and renovating simple, decent, affordable homes with hard-working people who are in need.

We partner with families whose income is above public housing guidelines and who are unable to qualify for conventional mortgages. Qualified families are given a hand up (not a hand out), and they pay a monthly no-interest mortgage to Habitat. These monies, in turn, go back into building more affordable homes. Habitat is committed to developing and uplifting families and communities in addition to constructing houses.

Since our founding in 1994, we have built or rehabilitated 30+ homes in Dover, Raymond, Gonic, Northwood, Rochester, Somersworth and Farmington. To date, SENH Habitat for Humanity’s largest completed project was a three-home community in Farmington called Joseph Halley Way. Our projects have placed more than 100 people in quality housing. In addition, we are now helping to fund the construction of our first home in Costa Rica through our sister affiliate.

How We Do It

   – Providing decent, affordable, energy efficient, and stable housing for those in need through sweat equity strengthens families and in turn communities.

   – Working with volunteers, other non profits, local governments, sponsors, religious congregations and others in our community.

   – We welcome all people who seek the love of God without regard to religion, ability, age, color, economic circumstance, ethnic background, family configuration,                 gender, nationality, or sexual orientation.

   – We act with the highest standards of integrity, respect and dignity in all our dealings with our families, staff, volunteers and all with whom we do business.

   – We adhere to the highest standards of care, product and services.

Towns We Serve

Strafford County:

Barrington
Center Strafford
Dover
Durham
Farmington
Lee
Madbury
Milton
Milton Mills
New Durham
Rochester
Rollinsford
Somersworth
Strafford

 

 

Parts of Rockingham County:

Brentwood
East Kingston
Epping
Exeter
Greenland
Hampton
Hampton Falls
Kensington
Kingston
New Castle
Newfields
Newington
Newmarket
North Hampton
Portsmouth
Rye
Seabrook
South Hampton
Stratham

Meet the Leadership Team!

Joyce Holland

Board President

Pam Bishop

Board Vice President Member

Christine Castaldo

Board Member

Jamie Coughenour

Board Member

Christine Wellington

Board Member

Paul Bergeron

Treasurer

Jane Chase

Board Member

Carrie DiGeorge

Board Member

Heidi Archibald

Secretary

Scott Christensen

Board Member

Adam Wagner

Board Member - Immediate Past President

View Our Most Recent Audited Financial Statements: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

How does Habitat for Humanity 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 houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses. Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor — sweat equity — into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. Qualifying families purchase their home at cost. They must take an interest-free mortgage which they pay back over 20-30 years.

How does Habitat for Humanity find/buy houses and property? 
Currently, Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity buys property or homes in need of repair using money raised through donations or mortgage payments of current Habitat partner families. Obviously, in our area, land is quite expensive, so it is a daunting task to find land that will allow us to keep homeowner payments affordable.

For some affiliates, cities and towns will donate or sell town-owned property at a discounted price to Habitat for affordable housing. In addition, sometimes houses in need of repair and renovation will be donated. Our affiliate is working on creating relationships with the towns in our service area to set up agreements and donations such as these.

How much does a Habitat house cost?
Housing costs vary throughout the country, and the world, for that matter. For Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity, the cost of building a home averages between $130,000 and $175,000. Habitat homes are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price and no interest charged on the mortgage.

How are Habitat partner families selected? 
Families in need of decent shelter apply to local Habitat affiliates. The affiliate’s Family Selection Committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program, and their ability to repay a no-interest loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection; neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat homes.

What must a family do to become a Habitat partner family? 
Partner families are selected based on several criteria. Families must demonstrate financial need, have an ability to make monthly mortgage payments, and commit to volunteering at least 250 hours of volunteer labor on their own home or other Habitat projects, among other things.

What happens to a partner family’s mortgage payments? 
A Habitat partner family’s monthly mortgage payments become part of a revolving fund, which is used to acquire property and build more homes for more partner families.

What if a partner family wants to move out of their home? 
The contract a partner family signs gives Habitat the first option of buying the house back from the partner family. The partner family does not lose money in the process. Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity seeks families that are willing to make a long-term commitment to living in their homes. The contract also ensures that the homeowners are true to their partnership and protects
Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity and its supporters from a short-term sale through other legal means.

Who can volunteer with Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity?
Anyone can volunteer in a variety of ways!

Can I volunteer with Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity if I don’t live in the Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity service area? 
Volunteers from any town are more than welcome to volunteer with Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity; however, volunteers can
search for the Habitat affiliate most conveniently located to them by going to the Habitat affiliate search engine.

Do volunteers need to have special skills to work at a construction site?
Nope! People of all skill levels are welcome to help on site. Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity site supervisors provide
safety and job training on the day of a build. Site supervisors work to find the most appropriate
tasks for volunteers to do based on the volunteer’s skills and comfort level.

What days are volunteers needed? Can I work on the weekends? 
Currently, Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity construction and building occurs predominantly on Thursdays and Saturdays. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities
that do not involve being on the build site. 

Do volunteers need to bring their own tools? How about lunch? Anything else? 
Tools are provided by Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity; however, if volunteers are more comfortable using their own tools, Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity recommends that volunteers make sure the tools are labeled. This will ensure the tools do not get lost or damaged. Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity is not responsible for any misplaced or damaged tools.

Lunch is sometimes provided for volunteers by volunteers, but in general, volunteers should plan to pack a lunch and plenty of water for the day. In addition, our worksites are construction areas, so volunteers should wear appropriate clothing (no open-toed shoes, etc.). As well, you should plan to bring sunscreen and bug spray when appropriate.

Can youth help build?
Youth who are 16 years of age and older may help build on a construction site; however, there are a number of other ways that younger people can help. Youth can design and make site signs, window boxes, birdhouses, and other design elements that make a house a home. They can also help run a fundraising event or do public speaking at their church or school. 

What can I do other than help build a house?
There are a number of other ways volunteers can help Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity, besides building. Volunteers can bring their expertise or talents to one of the Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity committees, prepare lunch for people onsite, or simply provide donations to help Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity continue its work!

Does Southeast NH Habitat for Humanity accept donations of old or unused building materials? 
YES!! Although we cannot use old or random building materials on the build site, we have a ReStore and the sale of these products will provide the funds needed to continue building and grow our capacity!!

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. HFHI has built more than 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. 

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries.

People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

Habitat for Humanity Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat for Humanity Mission Statement

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

All are welcome

Habitat for Humanity of SENH has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

 

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