How does it work?

Utilizing volunteer labor, management expertise, and tax – deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds homes with the help of the homeowners. Houses are sold at no profit to selected partner families. No interest mortgages are issued for a fixed time period and monthly payments, including taxes and insurance are repaid and recycled to build additional homes.

Who manages Stephenson County Habitat for Humanity?

Volunteer board meets monthly to determine policy and manage the affiliate’s operations. The affiliate operates with a paid Executive Director supported by the Board of Directors.

How does the partnership with homeowners work?

Habitat isn’t a giveaway program; it’s a hand-up, not a hand-out. Each homeowner family is required to invest “sweat equity” hours into the construction of their (or others) home. This reduces the cost of the house, increases the pride of ownership among family members and fosters the development of positive relationships with other persons.

How do I apply for a Habitat home?

Families apply and a family selection committee selects homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the no-interest mortgage loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat homes. If you are interested in applying for a home, please email Individuals interested in a Habitat home should be aware that it is a long – term partnership and take time to put in sweat equity and move into a home.

How are partner families selected?

Families apply to the affiliate and a family selection committee selects homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the mortgage loan. The family selection committee follows the laws set by the Equal Housing Opportunity.

What is the process for Habitat providing homes?

Stephenson County Habitat for Humanity provides homes with families in three different ways. New home builds are houses built by Habitat patterning with volunteers and the incoming family who will move into that house.  Rehabbed homes are a house donated or purchased by Habitat that is updated/rehabbed and brought up to code using volunteers and the incoming family. Recycled homes are homes built by Habitat that was turned back over to Habitat via a deed in lieu or a foreclosure, then a new family is placed into the home after Habitat, volunteers and the family replace and update anything in the home that needs addressing.

How are donations distributed and used?

Donations are distributed as designated by the donor for the construction of homes. Any undesignated gifts are used where needed. Gifts to Stephenson County Habitat for Humanity are deductible for income tax purposes. Also, 10% of all undesignated donations are tithed every year to Habitat for Humanity International to assist the building of Habitat homes globally

How do I donate my appreciated financial assets (stocks, etc.)?

Call the Stephenson County Habitat for Humanity office to make further arrangements. Call 815-801-3078 or email:

How can I become a volunteer?

Habitat needs volunteers to work on building projects as well as behind the scenes – in the office, on committees and on the board of directors. For more information 

How can children get involved in the volunteer process?

Children are a very important part of Habitat for Humanity. Many children live in the homes that Habitat builds. Due to the potential dangers of a construction site and our insurance requirements, children and youths under 16 may not work on the construction site.