Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area Inc seeks to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by working in partnership with people who blend their time, talent and gifts to build simple, decent housing with families in need so all are encouraged to be what God intended.      ----Mission Statement, Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Habitat for Humanity way of working with lower income individuals and families may seem to be both innovative and a bit of a mystery at the same time.  The questions below will provide insight into this unique way of dealing with people that is always "a hand up, not a hand out."  Clicking on a specific question will take you directly to the response. 

What is Habitat for Humanity?

Habitat for Humanity is an interdenominational Christian Housing Ministry created by a group of caring people who blend their talents, time, and material gifts to assist those in need.  Its aim is to provide simple, decent housing for selected qualified families without dependence on charity.  Homes are built at cost and sold to recipients who would not qualify through the usual channels for affordable mortgages.  Mortgage contracts and deeds are legally binding and designated to prevent misuse of Habitat resources.  Habitat for Humanity is successfully operating throughout the United States and in many other countries.  The international offices are in Americus, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia.  Local groups, sanctioned and advised by the parent group, have separate organizations and missions based on needs within their area of operation.  For more information about the international ministry of Habitat for Humanity, click: http://www.habitat.org/how/factsheet.aspx   (To top)

Habitat for Humanity--Lima -- a brief history

Founded in 1991 in Allen County in West Central Ohio, Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area, Inc. has built 44 houses--six in Delphos, one in Spencerville, and 37 in the city of Lima.  The affiliate's ministry took a major step forward in 1998 with the hiring of a half-time Executive Director, Ken Pulley and houses have been built steadily ever since. 

In 2008 the affiliate took another significant step in leasing a building and opening a ReStore at 123 E. Wayne St. in downtown Lima.  The building also houses affiliate offices and a warehouse for construction materials used in the house building work. 

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The affiliate is deeply grateful for the untold numbers of persons who have supported its housing ministry--construction volunteers, donors, board and committee members and many others who have offered encouragement, counsel and prayers. With the assistance of many individuals, churches, and businesses individuals and families have achieved the dream of home ownership likely impossible without the assistance of Habitat!  (To top)

How are Habitat houses Funded?

Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc. is a non-profit, fully incorporated charitable organization.  Donations provide capital for building houses to be sold (not given away) to a carefully-screened family on a non-profit, no-interest basis. 

Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area, Inc. with offices located at 123 E. Wayne St., Lima, OH, is affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, International. A house built by Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area, Inc. costs approximately $88,000 giving the dignity of home ownership to selected families. 

A house built by Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc. costs approximately $88,000 giving the dignity of home ownership to selected families.  To build a house funding must be in place from a variety of sources:

For each house built, a sponsoring group is sought that will contribute as much as $53,400 toward the cost of the house.  Grants and homeowner payments provide the balance of the cost of the house.  The monetary contributions pay for purchased materials and some services requiring special skills.  Much of the labor, however, is donated by volunteers and the recipient family. All mortgage payments are recycled back into the agency's commitment to build more houses.  Seed funds come from tax deductible gifts from individuals, churches, corporations, and service organizations.  Other gifts may be in the form of land, materials, and volunteer services. A tithe of all donations is sent to Habitat's International program for housing construction in an overseas program.  (To top)

What is a "Tithe"?

The word "tithe" comes from an Old Testament practice of setting aside 10% of all produce for use to care for the Levites, orphans, widows, and foreigners.  (See Deuteronomy 14:22-29)  This religious practices provides the basis for sending 10% of all donations to Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc. to Habitat International.  Since 1991 when the affiliate was founded Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area has sent approximately $175,000 to  Habitat for Humanity International that has served more than 50 families.  Presently our affiliate tithe is designated to be shared equally tween the national program in the Central American country of Guatemala and a national program in Africa where needed most.  (To top)

Who Qualifies for Habitat Housing?

Qualified families live in substandard housing (many definitions), are lower income (30-50% of Lima median family income) but have a steady source of income to meet the monthly mortgage payment, and are willing to invest significantly in the preparation for home ownership and the construction of their house.  This investment is more popularly know as "sweat equity."  Qualified families would not qualify for a conventional mortgage loan. (To top)

How are Families Selected?

The Family Selection Committee is responsible for the selection of families for Habitat houses.  The Committee reviews each application carefully leading up the the final step being a home interview.  Applicant families are then recommended by the Family Selection Committee to the Board of Directors for final approval. (To top)

What are the Conditions of Sale?

Houses are sold at no profit with a 20, 25, or 30-year 0% interest mortgage loan , depending on income of the approved partner family.  Participation in home ownership training classes and the Lima First Home Program can earn qualified families grants that provide the down payment (To top)

Building Bridges

Habitat brings together all kinds of people to serve God by responding to the need for simple, decent, affordable housing.   Persons of different faiths, ages, races, and backgrounds put aside their differences and agree on the hammer as an instrument of God's love. Sponsoring groups such as churches also experience a tremendous sense of unity within the group when they work together on a Habitat project. (To top)

Partnership Possibilities

God may be calling you and your church, your business, or service club to do something greater than you ever thought you could.  Consider these ideas for putting your faith into action.

PRAY - Keep the ministry of Habitat for Humanity always in your prayers.  Churches may also participate in the International Day of Prayer and Action for Human Habitat, designed to put decent shelter on the hearts and minds of all of the people.  Bulletin inserts and other materials are available to help you plan your observance each year in September.

VOLUNTEER - When houses are built volunteers with differing skills or no-skills-but-a willingness-to-serve attitude are needed to help.  Most workdays are on Saturdays beginning by 8:00 a.m. thru mid-afternoon.  Volunteer for a day or two on each house built.  Or organize a group from your business, church, service club, or extended family to work a day.   Volunteers are also needed to work on the Board of Directors or one of nine committees that work behind the scenes to make possible the more visible work of constructing the houses.  Click here to go to a list of committees. 

 Call the Habitat office--419-222-4937--for information on how to arrange to volunteer or inform the office of your interest by e-mail at habitatlima@habitatlima.org 

GIVE - While Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc. has received significant gifts from businesses and individuals which are deeply appreciated, the backbone of financial support comes from many persons willing to donate smaller amounts to the ministry of providing simple decent houses for deserving families.  A primary means of supporting Habitat for Humanity is dubbed "Cub 1000", an effort to enlist 1000 persons in the larger Lima Area who give $10.00 a month ($120.00 annually) or more to financially support the ministry of Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area, Inc.

SPONSOR A WHOLE HOUSE - Depending on the location a full house sponsorship a house sponsorship ranges from $43,000 to $53,400.  In the past individual denominational groups including Catholic parishes and institutions, Lutheran churches, Mennonite churches, and United Methodist churches have joined together to sponsor houses. 

APOSTLES BUILD  A new model is currently emerging called "An Apostles Build."   This is an ecumenical cluster of as many as twelve churches joining together to provide both funding and volunteers for a house build.  An Apostles Build Project Team has been formed with representatives of area churches as members.  If your church would like to join the Apostles Build effort, contact the Habitat for Humanity-Lima office to see when meetings of the Project Teams are scheduled. Individual businesses or groups of businesses can also sponsor houses.  Four years ago Sprint Telephone (now Centurylink), American Electric Company, and Dominion East Ohio Gas joined together to provide half the cost of a house sponsorship.    (To top)

Making a Difference

Frequently Asked QuestionsAs a Christian ministry, Habitat for Humanity, whether in its international organization or in local affiliates such as Habitat for Humanity-Lima Area, Inc., has grown into a powerful witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is fitting that the church--Christ's body in the world--should be primary partner in Habitat's work around the world.  Working with Habitat for Humanity can transform the lives of individuals and churches.  Many persons develop a deeper relationship with God, and congregations often experience a new sense of purpose and empowerment (To top)

A hand up, not a hand out.

Habitat is not a "give-away" program.  Partner families invest hundreds of hours of their own labor--"sweat equity"--in building their home and the homes of others.  Their monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving "Fund for Humanity" that is used to build more houses.  Additional funding comes from tax deductible donations of money and materials.  Volunteers provide much of the house-building labor, working with the partner families. (To top)

Building community through partnership

Donors become partners in the work of building houses and building lives.  Houses are also built in clusters often resulting in overall improvement of the larger neighborhood where they are built. Habitat is a grass-roots movement.  Concerned citizens organize local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.  Affiliates direct and control their local Habitat building projects.  Each affiliate is responsible for fund-raising, family selection, house construction, and more.  Habitat has active affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 nations worldwide. (To top)

How Can You Become a Habitat Partner?

As an individual or as a group--your business, club, church, etc.--you can help make this vision a reality.  You can provide families in need with hope for the future through your partnership with Habitat.  To donate your time and talents to Habitat for Humanity, contact:

Habitat for Humanity, Lima Area, Inc.
550 W. Elm Street,
Lima, OH  45801-4730
Telephone:  419-222-4937
E-Mail:  habitatlima@habitatlima.org 
 
Or call:
 
1-800-HABITAT, ext. 551 or 552 for the name of the affiliate closest to you.
 
Or write to:
 
Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat St.
Americus, GA 31709-3489
912-924-6935 or 1-800-HABITAT
fax (912)924-6541
 http://www.habitat.org
 
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