Our Mission

Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Mission Statement

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

Who we are

We are an affordable housing ministry committed to partnering with low-income, families to realize their dream of owning quality, affordable and energy-efficient homes in safe and revitalizing neighborhoods through Chatham County, GA. As one of 1,600 affiliates in the US and part of Habitat for Humanity International, which is active in 70 countries around the world, Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity addresses the need for safe and affordable shelter both locally and around the world.

Why we exist

Shelter is one of our foundational human needs. Research shows that homeownership provides the security and stability for families to grow as productive citizens, become healthier, and enjoy higher educational achievements. Homeownership strengthens not only families but also provides stability to neighborhoods and communities. We believe that working, low-income families can become successful homeowners. We exist because the regular banking system does not provide low-income, working families with access to the credit that they need to purchase their home. We therefore complement the banking system so that together, more families can enjoy access to affordable homeownership.

Chatham County's Affordable Housing Crisis

  • According to Step Up Savannah, 26% of Chatham Co. residents live below the poverty line!
  • Research shows that Chatham County lacks 15,000 affordable housing units.
  • Chatham Co.'s homeownership rate is 56% against a state average of 67%. The homeownership rate within the City of Savannah is 44%.
  • Many of our neighbors work 2-3 minimum wage jobs just to afford an apartment or house which in many cases is overcrowded or substandard.
  • Many of our neighbors are "cost-burdened" meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on rent.
  • Our partner families pay an average of $650 per month in rent and up to another $300 to heat and cool their apartments prior to becoming homeowners.

The Habitat model

Habitat brings together low-income families, donors and volunteers to build or repair housing. Partner families earn 25-60% of area median income (In Savannah/Chatham this translates into an annual household income for a family of 4 from $21,450 to $36,800). Partner families in the Coastal Empire contribute 350 hours of sweat equity working on the construction of their house and the houses of other homeowners. Donors provide financial and in-kind material gifts to fund the construction of the houses. Volunteers work alongside the partner families to construct or rehabilitate the houses. Upon completion, the house is sold at no-profit and no-interest to the partner families. Their monthly mortgage payment (which includes principal and escrow for property taxes and insurance) is added to other mortgage payments and donations to allow us to build or repair more homes. And so the cycle continues.

Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity's Impact

Since its founding in 1983, Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity's impact can be measured on the following ways:

Impact on our Partner Families:

  • 136 families, representing 145 adults and 286 children, own safe, affordable and energy-efficient homes.
  • Purchasing a Habitat house generally reduces household shelter and energy costs by $100 per month or $1,200 per year.
  • 32 partner families have already paid off their mortgages.

Impact on our Partner Families' Education:

Since becoming Habitat homeowners, our partner families have realized the following educational gains:

  • 15 homeowners have graduated college
  • 5 homeowners have graduated with an advanced degree
  • 11 homeowners are currently attending college
  • 72 children of homeowners have graduated high school
  • 24 children of homeowners are currently attending college
  • 23 children of homeowners have graduated college
  • 11 homeowners and their children have completed a 2-year technical/college program
  • 1 homeowner/child has earned a training program certificate
  • 3 homeowners/children have received their GEDs

Impact on our local Economy:

  • Since 1983, Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity has had an impact over $90 million on the Chatham County economy.
  • Habitat homeowners contribute $167,000 in property taxes to Savannah/Chatham County annually.
  • ReStore Savannah collects over $25,000 in sales tax revenue annually.
  • Local Habitat volunteers contribute approximately 7,520 hours of service annually, valued at $173,486.

All are Welcome

The Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity 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.