Value of Sweat Equity
Sweat Equity is one element of the partnership between Habitat for Humanity West Bay and Northern Rhode Island and Partner Families. It is central to the Habitat Program because of the following:
- Sweat Equity labor provided by Partner Families helps to reduce the cost of Habitat houses.
- Partner Families make a hands-on, physical investment of themselves in the building of their home and in the community by doing sweat equity. Through sweat equity, Partner Families have the opportunity to work together with other families and volunteers.
- In building homes together, friendships develop and form a spirit of fellowship, pride of ownership and a sense of community.
- The partnership is of mutual benefit to all involved, as Homeowners learn valuable skills they will need to maintain their homes in the future and volunteers appreciate getting to know the families they are helping.
- Sweat equity is one way by which the Habitat program gives a “hand up” rather than a “hand out.”
- Sweat equity is a requirement of some of Habitat’s funding sources.
Sweat Equity Requirements
Homeowners are expected to help construct their own home and the homes of other Partner Families as follows:
- Must take a Home Owner orientation class.
- One-adult families must work a minimum of 12 hours per month and complete a minimum of 300 total hours of sweat equity.
- After completion of the minimum number of required sweat equity hours, homeowners are expected to continue to contribute hours until their house is completed.
- Other family members (relatives who are not going to be living in the house), and friends can help couples earn up to 180 of their total hours or help singles earn 125 hours.
- Two thirds of the hours must be completed at a Habitat construction site. The remaining hours can also be earned onsite, or, with SCHH’s approval, working at fundraisers, doing office work, working at ReStore, or working on other Habitat sponsored projects. (Accommodations will be made for persons physically unable to work on site.)
- Homeowners must make a reasonable effort to complete their sweat equity before moving into their Habitat house; most families take between 12 to 18 months to complete their Sweat Equity.