Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity (FFAHFH) is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). It was established in 1991 and serves the Western Otter Tail County region. We wish to put God’s love into action and bring people together to build affordable homes and give hope to families in our local communities. As of February 2021, 59 homes have been rehabbed or built since the affiliate began.
As a non-profit, FFAHFH raises funds from individuals, businesses, organizations, and churches. Habitat Homes are sold to families at an affordable price by keeping building practices simple and decent, using volunteer labor, and professional in-kind donations. Families are selected for the program based on three criteria: willingness to put in sweat equity, ability to repay (credit history and income guidelines), and an obvious need for better housing.
What is Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)?
A Christian non-profit organization that is now world-wide. It was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller in Americus, GA.
What is Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity (FFAHFH)?
An affiliate of HFHI, FFAHFH serves communities in western Otter Tail County.
FFAHFH Mission Statement
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity (FFAHFH)
brings people together to build affordable homes and give hope to families in our local communities.
How long has FFAHFH been around?
Where is FFAHFH located?
In Peace Methodist Church in Fergus Falls, MN. 1500 S. Cascade, Fergus Falls, MN.
How many homes has FFAHFH built or restored?
59 as of February 2021.
Where have those houses been?
The majority of homes built or restored by FFAHFH have been done in Fergus Falls. Other communities include Barrett, Battle Lake, Breckenridge, Dalton, Clitherall, Elbow Lake, Ottertail City, Pelican Rapids, Richville, Rothsay, Underwood, Fairmount, and Wahpeton.
Where can people learn more about FFAHFH?
How does it work?
FFAHFH raises money through grants, individual, organizational, business, and church donations. These funds are used for the various costs of building a home. They are also used to pay for operational expenses and a tithe FFAHFH has with HFHI to help support international Habitat for Humanity affiliates.
Are Habitat Homes a donation to families?
Habitat homes are sold to families as any other house. The home is built simple, decent, and affordable. Families have a mortgage just like any other home owner. Monthly mortgage payments and interest rates vary depending on Partner Family circumstances. By building simply, using volunteers for labor, and getting in-kind donations (i.e. roofing materials and services, appliances, cabinets, etc.) Habitat is able to sell the home at an affordable price.
What is a “Partner Family”?
The family selected to partner with FFAHFH to purchase the home and put sweat equity into building the home.
How much sweat equity by a Partner Family is expected?
100 hours/adult in the family
What are the requirements to apply to be a Partner Family?
Demonstrate a need
Ability to pay
Family income is 30%-60% of the median county income
Willingness to Partner
100 hours/adult in the family
How to apply to be a Partner Family
People can apply online at ffhabitat.org under the “Partner With Us!” section. Or they can call the office at 736-2905
When are applications accepted?
Applications are not always being accepted year-round. Instead, an “application period” is opened for people to apply when the affiliate has the ability to build a new home or renovate an existing one.
Interested families can always inquire
We are looking to create a “pipeline” of families for future home builds. Families are encouraged to inquire about the process and show their interest at any time, even outside of an open application period. This way we can keep in touch with them and help them toward becoming a Partner Family when the application process opens up.
How long does it typically take FFAHFH to build a new home?
What are the roles of volunteers?
Volunteers are used in many ways. Some help build the house out at the build sites. Some people will serve on a committee or the Board of Directors. Others will help transport materials to the landfill or move the tool trailer where we need it.
How can people help?
Volunteering at a build
Helping us make connections to churches, business owners, etc.
Serving on a committee or the board of directors
Do you need to have construction skills to help at a build?
No. They are helpful, but not necessary. Everyone has the ability to help no matter what their skill level is. Often, less experienced volunteers will team up with more experienced, regular volunteers. Nobody has to do a job they don’t feel comfortable with. We strive for volunteers to have an enjoyable experience and to do this we give them tasks to help with that fit their skills.
Age Requirement: 16 years and older at the construction site. 16-17 years old cannot use power tools. Anyone under 16 years of age can help with non-construction work (i.e. landscaping).
Other Requirements: Must be wearing close-toed shoes.
Why is FFAHFH needed?
Home prices are outpacing wage increases
Fewer and fewer simple, decent, affordable homes being built
Simple, decent, and affordable homes built by Habitat will be a home to many families for decades
Helps the communities housing stock by providing new, affordable homes
FFAHFH provides a way for people to serve their neighbor and live out their faith
From 2000-2016 the number of cost burdened homes in MN increased by 58%.
“Cost-burdened” means a family spends greater than 30% of their income on housing.