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Habitat For Humanity Of Key West And Lower Florida Keys

Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Keys believes that everyone should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.

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About Habitat for Humanity:
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia.

Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries.

Families and individuals in need of a hand up 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.

About Habitat Lower Keys:
Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Key is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.

Habitat Lower Keys builds and repairs houses using volunteer labor and donations. Income-qualifying Lower Keys families purchase homes through no-profit, no-interest mortgages. To qualify, the families must demonstrate a need for affordable housing, qualify for the loan, and be willing to partner with Habitat by completing homeownership courses and contributing 200-300 hours of "sweat equity" through work on their home or within the community.

Homebuyer Program:
Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Keys, Inc. does not build houses for families or give homes away; we facilitate a partnership with families who demonstrate a need for adequate affordable housing, the ability to pay a mortgage, and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity.

This partnership also engages community supporters who join the families in the home building process and provide both financial and in-kind support for building supplies and materials. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their home and they pay back a no-profit, no-interest mortgage.

Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Keys, Inc. is committed to the development of decent, affordable homes. We also are committed to working with partner families to insure that the experience of homeownership is positive and successful.

Families are trained and supported in a variety of skills, including: basic construction skills to assist in the building of their house; home maintenance skills; various home improvement skills; neighborhood involvement and cooperation skills; budgeting and consumer awareness skills; and others as necessary.

Habitat homes are modestly sized. They are large enough for the homeowner family’s needs, but small enough to keep construction and maintenance costs down.

The labor of volunteers and partner families, efficient building methods, modest house sizes, and no-profit loans make it affordable for low-income families to purchase Habitat houses.

We are proud to be able to provide an opportunity for working families to stay in the Keys, put their roots down and raise their families.

Critical Home Repair Program:
Down here in the Lower Keys, available land to build on is very scarce. Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Keys also focuses on maintaining decent, affordable homes for low-income families by renovating or preserving existing homes.

By making critical home repairs to homes owned by low-income seniors, or adults with disabilities, we allow these residents to remain in their homes independently. For older adults, aging in place in their homes extends longevity and quality of life, and safe and stable housing and community networks are core to these outcomes. Surveys of homeowners that partner with Habitat show they’re mentally and physically healthier, feel safer at home, and engage with their family and friends more. Recognizing that safe and accessible housing is a key social determinant of health, Habitat is committed to making repairs focused on safety and accessibility for those in need.

Affordable Rentals:
Recognizing the scope of the affordable housing crisis in the Lower Keys, habitat also provides 27 affordable rentals for low-income families and residents. Keeping our rents below the city and county-mandated affordable levels allows our tenants to focus on why they live here and enjoy the beautiful Lower Keys environment, instead of spending all of their time working multiple jobs just to make it.

For some of our tenants, a Habitat rental can be the gateway to homeownership. Their rental agreement and payment history with Habitat helps them establish credit and show a history of on-time payments, which then helps them to qualify to become a Habitat homeowner.

Why does housing matter?
Affordable housing plays a critical role in strong communities because it is a determining factor for mental and physical health, as well as in educational outcomes for children. Access to affordable homeownership allows essential workers to stay in the Keys, put
down roots and raise their families here, establishing a foundation for building generational wealth. Communities that are diverse across income levels, race and culture are resilient communities.

Housing that is affordable and decent also reduces taxpayer expenses and boosts the local economy. Allowing seniors to age in place in their own homes reduces the tax payer burden of supported living. Safe, affordable homes reduce public costs associated with
illness and poor school performance in children. Construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing employs local trade workers and powers local businesses.

How do we achieve our vision?
To achieve our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live, we build with hammers, with volunteers and with families. We build affordable homes for local essential workers to purchase, we make critical repairs to keep residents on fixed incomes in their homes, we build future homeowners through affordable rentals and homeowner education classes, and we build community in the process. We build through advocacy and through partnerships, and by bringing people together to forge bonds, share their skills and share
their stories.

Our work is needed now more than ever. We must continue to create community, foster opportunity, and generate access and equity for all. A world, and a local community, where everyone has a decent place to live is not only something we wish for, it is the future we build together every day.

You can help!
Be an Advocate.
Make your friends and family aware of Habitat’s good work and ask them to support our cause. Follow us online and share our social media posts.

Give Your Time.
We need help with: construction, property maintenance, community education classes, and fundraising.

Support Financially.
Help us build affordable homes through a one-time donation, monthly support, or a corporate sponsorship. With your help, a family can achieve the dream of owning a home in their community. Your donation becomes the solid foundation for their future. You can donate online at www.habitatlowerkeys.org, or give us a call at our office at 305-294-9006. You can also donate stocks, crypto, DAF, or leave a planned gift through your will or estate.

Key West, FL
Mid-sized organization
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN 65-0443188