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  • About Habitat Chesapeake

Habitat Chesapeake

Our Mission

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


Our Vision

A world in which everyone has a decent place to live.


Our Values

  • Choosing personal responsibility – sharing time, talent and treasure
  • Putting faith into action – conviction translated into deeds
  • Building homes, communities, relationships and lives
  • Respecting the dignity of individuals – everyone has a voice
  • Creating a legacy sustained through commitment and dedication

The Need for Affordable Housing

A safe and secure place to live is one of the most fundamental needs in life.  Without it, families suffer, children’s academic performance declines and communities crumble. Unfortunately, the resources required to fulfill this basic need are unavailable to millions around the world, including many people here in Central Maryland.

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According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is families with children. Poverty and the lack of affordable housing are the principal causes of family homelessness. The truth is that the need for affordable housing is greater than any one organization can fulfill. Habitat Chesapeake partners with businesses, nonprofit organizations, government entities and faith communities to combat this prevalent problem in Central Maryland.

But the work is not nearly complete. Approximately two billion people around the world live in slum housing and over 100 million people are homeless. To provide a sustainable model of affordable housing, Habitat Chesapeake works not only to build homes, but also to build communities where low income families can afford to live with dignity. The struggles are real. Let’s do more than talk about it. Let’s build and transform communities together.


Our History

Habitat Chesapeake’s goal is to provide hard-working individuals and families in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County with the knowledge and opportunity to purchase a decent, affordable home. That is what we have done for the past 30+ years and continue to do every day. Each ground breaking and home dedication marks another step toward more affordable housing in Central Maryland. The work has proven to be successful and we are proud to partner with volunteers, donors, families, businesses and organizations – people like you. Together, we have provided more than 360 families with decent, affordable places to call home.

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With the founding of Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity in 1982, the Habitat mission was introduced to Baltimore with staff and volunteers working to rehabilitate the iconic row homes in Baltimore City and County neighborhoods. Just south of Baltimore, others were working to launch the Habitat mission into Anne Arundel County and in 1986, the Arundel Habitat for Humanity affiliate was established. By June 2009, Chesapeake Habitat had renovated nearly 149 houses, working with more than 411 low-income family members to purchase affordable homes of their own. During the same time, Arundel Habitat had worked with 110 families—403 family members total, 253 of which were children—to become homeowners.

On July 1, 2009, the Arundel and Chesapeake affiliates merged to form Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake—a leading provider of affordable housing in the Anne Arundel County and Greater Baltimore region, and has since served as a leading voice for community transformation throughout the combined service area. In 2011, our reach expanded once again when we merged with Habitat for Humanity of Howard County. These mergers have allowed what is now Habitat Chesapeake to serve even more communities and family partners across a wider span of Maryland. By combining efforts, Habitat Chesapeake now has the capacity to renovate vacant and dilapidated inner city housing while also focusing on rural single-family dwellings that are without basic facilities. Today, we are serving more families in Central Maryland than ever before.

Throughout our history, we have gone through some significant changes, but one thing has remained the same for these 30+ years—the everyday efforts to place homeownership within reach of hard-working families in need. Habitat Chesapeake is committed to mobilizing a community focused on decent housing for all. We hope you join us in our efforts to provide decent, affordable housing to low-income partners in Central Maryland.


The Habitat Model

At Habitat for Humanity, we do more than build houses. We partner with homebuyers, volunteers, donors, businesses and community organizations to transform lives and rebuild communities. Through Homebuyer Academy classes and their investment in sweat equity hours, homeowners learn the skills necessary to successfully own and maintain a home for the rest of their lives. These individual homeowners become part of a larger group that works to bring change and new life to communities. Through community planning and neighborhood engagement, Habitat Chesapeake encourages the growth of healthy communities throughout Central Maryland. For a quick look into our work, read the myths and truths about Habitat Chesapeake,

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Habitat Chesapeake’s homeownership program is based on three specific criteria:

  • the ability to pay
  • the need for decent housing
  • the willingness to partner

Houses are sold at an affordable, no-profit rate with no-interest mortgages to qualified homebuyers who earn 25% to 60% of the area median income. By investing 250 – 300 volunteer hours (commonly known as sweat equity), future homeowners play an integral role in the building of Habitat homes. Homebuyers are also required to graduate from the Habitat Chesapeake Homebuyer Academy – a 50-hour course focused on financial literacy, home maintenance and community building.

But the work doesn’t stop there. The Habitat model works to transform the community as a whole. Public spaces and parks are included in our community development plans to provide neighbors a place to gather and enjoy their neighborhood. Throughout the neighborhood planning and construction phases, Habitat Chesapeake representatives work with neighborhood organizations to stay connected. Homeowners are also encouraged to engage with community organizations to continue to improve the neighborhood for years to come.

The need for affordable housing and better communities is real and the impact of this model is remarkable. With the investment in their home, homebuyers improve their financial standing and provide stability for their family. As a result, children perform better in school, families feel safer, and neighborhoods improve.


The ReStore

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores that sell building materials, furniture, appliances and more at discounted prices. Consisting of gently used items donated by people in the community, the inventory is always unique. The profits generated by the sale of these items are invested back into Habitat Chesapeake, helping to build more decent, affordable homes for our partner families.

And, there is another important benefit of shopping at the ReStores. By recycling used items, Habitat Chesapeake ReStores have saved millions of pounds of material from the landfill. With four locations throughout Central Maryland (Columbia, Dundalk, Halethorpe and Pasadena), our ReStores are key to our continued success. Whether you’re renovating your home, furnishing your patio or undertaking a simple DIY project, our ReStores are the perfect place to shop.

See what the ReStore has to offer.


Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International provides guidance to local Habitat affiliates. Each affiliate operates as a community-level organization serving specific geographic regions on behalf of Habitat International. As a local Habitat affiliate, Habitat Chesapeake independently manages all aspects of the Habitat process, including finances and fundraising, construction, partner family selection and programs. Habitat Chesapeake is one of 1,500+ affiliates across the United States, with another 80 affiliates around the world. Together, we continuously strive to support the mission and create a world in which everyone has a decent place to live.


Tithing

Habitat for Humanity International’s Tithe program allows local affiliates to eliminate poverty housing not only at home, but also abroad. Habitat Chesapeake is proud to contribute to the millions of dollars sent by Habitat affiliates each year to foreign communities in need of decent housing. Since Habitat Chesapeake’s inception in 1986, we have tithed more than $800,000, serving more than 260 families internationally. We are blessed to have this opportunity to support Habitat builds internationally through the Tithe program.

Tithing is also a spiritual practice which we value as a faith-based organization. Local tithing opportunities are available through Carpenter’s Club - our recurring gift program. We are grateful for each member’s commitment to helping those in need of affordable housing and encourage you to make your pledge now.


Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake conducts business in accordance with equal opportunity standards and Federal Fair Lending Laws. Learn more.