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FAQ

Who is North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity?

Our Service Area - North St. Louis County in Minnesota

North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity Serves the northern half of St. Louis County in Minnesota.  From the community of Orr to Cotton going North to South and from the communities of Hoyt Lakes to Hibbing going East to West.  North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity has served 14 Minnesota communities including Aurora, Babbitt, Biwabik, Buhl, Chisholm, Cook, Embarrass, Ely, Eveleth, Hibbing, Mt. Iron, Tower, Soudan and Virginia. 

Our Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Our Mission Statement

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

About Habitat for Humanity – North St. Louis County

Habitat for Humanity-North St. Louis County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity North St. Louis County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

All are welcome

Habitat for Humanity – North St. Louis County 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.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Founded in Americus, Georgia, USA, in 1976, Habitat for Humanity today operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repair more than 600,000 decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 3 million people worldwide.

North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

Our office is located at 5558 Enterprise Dr. NE in Virginia, MN 55792 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Founded as a Christian Ministry, North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people from all walks of life to develop community with people in need by building and renovating homes, so that people can live and grow into all that God intended.

Habitat is based upon the teachings of Jesus. While Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization, anyone who is committed to Habitat's mission, purposes and principles is invited to participate in our organization.

Habitat for Humanity is a global movement comprised of Habitat for Humanity International and national and local affiliated organizations around the world.

The need for decent and affordable housing is a worldwide challenge, and Habitat for Humanity is a global partnership response. North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity tithes (gives 10% of undesignated funds) to support house-building efforts in Mexico.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors provide the money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor - 'sweat equity' - into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

Habitat for Humanity, founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, seeks to help eliminate substandard housing from the world. North St. Louis County chapter of Habitat for Humanity became an official affiliate on September 1, 1995. This affiliate dedicated it’s first house in the summer of 1996 and since then has built a total of 41 homes in thirteen communities across north St. Louis County.

Is there a Need for Habitat for Humanity in North St. Louis County?

The need for affordable housing in our communities is very evident. Housing is considered affordable if it consumes 30% or less of a household's gross income. Generally when households spend more than 30% of their income to meet housing costs, they do not have enough income to meet other basic needs or weather financial setbacks. Minnesota Housing Partnership reported in the 2014 "Home is the Foundation in St. Louis County" report that 12,149 families are affected by this crisis:

  • 82% of families who rent in St. Louis County with incomes of $20,000 or less are paying more than 30% of their income to meet their housing needs.
  • 56% of renting families who rent in St. Louis County with incomes of $20,000 to $34,999 are paying more than 30% of their income to meet their housing need.

The report also states that, "Renters income has fallen. According to the most recent data available, in St. Louis County, real renter incomes have fallen by 10% while rents have risen by 16% since 2000. The supply of places to rent is limited and often in poor condition. There are now 33 rental units affordable and available for every 100 extremely low-income renters in St. Louis County. The county ranks 79 out of the state's 87 counties for the most units affordable and available to this imcome group."

Habitat for Humanity seeks to serve families who otherwise would not be able to own their own home, that fall within 30% to 50% of the area's median family income and ahve a minimum income of about $20,000.

How does Habitat for Humanity work?

Through volunteer expertise in building houses, volunteer labor, and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat’s objective is to build and remodel simple, decent, affordable homes for people in need. Houses are sold to partner families at no profit with a 30 year interest free mortgage. The homeowner’s monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that is used to build more houses.

Habitat is not a give-away program. In addition to a small down payment and monthly interest-free mortgage payments to Habitat, each homeowner family (“partner”) invests hundreds of hours of their own labor (“sweat equity”) into the building of their home and future homes.

How are Donations to Habitat for Humanity used?

Donations of materials, land, funds or professional labor to North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity go primarily to build homes in our local communities. As an organization costs money to run, a small portion of our funding does go to running our local affiliate. Our motto in building homes, “simple, decent, affordable,” also carries over to our administrative expenses.

Partner families are not given a Habitat home. They work in partnership with Habitat by providing “sweat equity” and also paying back the cost of the home to Habitat in an affordable 0% interest, 30 year mortgage. The mortgage payments are put back into a revolving fund for the home building program.

Materials and professional labor are items that would need to be purchased if not donated. In cases where materials or professional labor have been donated the basic value of these donations are charged to the mortgage and recuperated over 30 years to be used over and over again in the building program.

As a Christian organization our affiliate also gives a tithe of our undesignated donations to go directly to building homes in Mexico. As a result of this tithe, we have built many more homes than the 73 that have been completed here locally.

How are partner families selected?

Families apply for home ownership through the North St Louis County Habitat for Humanity office. The Family Selection Committee then reviews the applications and selects homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the 0% interest loan. Habitat for Humanity is an Equal Opportunity Lender.

How is Habitat for Humanity run?

North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity is a volunteer organization run by an all-volunteer governing board and volunteer committees. Staff are employed to support the committees as they carry out Habitat’s mission of building affordable homes with families in North St. Louis County. In 2013, 89% of all funds raised were used for home construction, 6% was used for administration and only 5% was used for fund raising.

Also vital to the success of Habitat are the communities, churches, organizations and individual volunteers that make habitat homes a reality. Without the support of these groups, and the support of individuals like you, Habitat for Humanity’s mission of eliminating poverty housing would never be attainable.

North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity, as an affiliate, maintains standards set by Habitat International and, in turn, receives information and training from it; but the affiliate is primarily responsible for all other aspects of its work. One of Habitat International’s requirements is that an affiliate tithe ten percent of its undesignated funding to help build houses in other countries, usually at a much lower cost than is possible in the United States. North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity has chosen to have its tithe sent to Habitat Mexico.

Each affiliate must also abide by state and national requirements for non-profit organizations. North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity has met and is complying with these requirements.

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