Sweat equity is the single most important strategy Habitat uses to empower future homeowner families and one of the features that sets us apart from other affordable housing providers.
Habitat uses the term “sweat equity” to refer to the hours of labor our homeowners dedicate to building their homes and the homes of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own self-improvement. Muskegon County Habitat for Humanity homeowners begin their sweat equity after being accepted into the program, and they must complete a minimum of 275 hours before they can move into their homes.
Sweat equity reduces the amount of paid labor needed for a house, which in turn helps reduce cost. Additionally, time spent building their own homes instills a sense of pride and ownership, teaching the basic building and house-maintenance skills that are necessary for homeownership.
Most importantly, by going beyond a mere financial investment in their property and performing sweat equity alongside other volunteers and neighbors, Habitat homeowners gain a greater sense of self-worth and become more personally invested in their community.