History & Mission

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller in Americus, Georgia. Habitat is a nonprofit, economical housing ministry dedicated to the ideal that all people deserve a simple, decent place to live on terms that they can afford to pay.

There are currently over 2,100 active Habitat affiliates around the globe in 100 countries. They have built more than 300,000 homes worldwide, housing more than 1.5 million people.

How it works

There is a selection process to determine who receives Habitat homes. First, families in need of a decent shelter apply to local affiliates, and they are selected based on the level of need, their willingness to become partners in the Habitat program, and their ability to repay the loan. Through volunteer labor and tax deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates modest, suitable houses which cost on average $75,000 in the United States. The Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price.

In addition to monthly mortgage payments, each homeowner invests approximately 500 hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into the building of their house and the houses of others. The sweat equity usually involves helping build other families' homes, taking classes about finance and home maintanance, and working on their own house.

UGA Habitat History

The UGA campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1994 by students Robyn Painter and Molly Chase. The first UGA house was built in the 96-97 school year with the help of over 700 students and 35 different campus organizations. UGA Habitat is now in its 14th year of active service, and is currently building its 10th house. As a chapter, we work to fulfill the four pillars established by Habitat for Humanity International through all of our events, fundraisers and meetings.

The Four Pillars


We participate in builds many Saturday mornings in cooperation with Athens Area Habitat. Check out builds to get involved.


We conduct numerous advocacy events throughout the year to increase awareness of the problem of substandard housing and to call people to action to initiate a change. Our largest advocacy event is Act! Speak! Build! Week, which will take place from April 15-20th. See events for more information.

Fund Raising

We have numerous fund raisers throughout the year, and some of our biggest are the Turkey Trot 5k in the fall and Gift Wrap over Christmas Break. We're always welcome to new ideas! Check out donate to see how you can help.


Our main educational outlet is our general meetings, which feature speakers in various Habitat-related roles. Our newsletter is also an important source of information. Check out meetings to see when our next meeting is and to read any Hammer & Nails newsletters you may have missed.