Sweat-Equity is one feature that makes Dorchester Habitat for Humanity so unique from other affordable housing providers. It is the single most important strategy that Dorchester Habitat for Humanity uses to empower future homeowners.
Dorchester Habitat for Humanity uses the term “Sweat-Equity” to refer to the hours of labor its partner families dedicate to building their homes and the homes of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own self-improvement.
Dorchester Habitat for Humanity partner families must complete a minimum of 425 Sweat-Equity hours before they can move into their homes. Partner families must work at least 60 Sweat-Equity hours on their own home and at least 60 Sweat-Equity hours on other partner families’ homes.
Sweat-Equity reduces the amount of paid labor needed for a home, which in turn helps reduce construction costs.
Time spent building their own homes instills a sense of pride and ownership in homeowners, teaching the basic building and house-maintenance skills 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 neighborhood and community.
In addition to fulfilling their Sweat-Equity requirements on the construction site, future homeowners participate in budgeting, credit, financial, and first-time homebuyer education programs.