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  • About Habitat Chesapeake

Habitat Chesapeake


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


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

All are welcome

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake 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.

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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.

We are an interfaith community

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake builds not only houses, but also community. As an interfaith organization, we recognize the power of bridging gaps through common principles. Our communities include people of many religious traditions, who all share the desire to understand and support one another and have set aside their differences to work together toward a common goal. We not only welcome but invite difference as a means to make change in ours hearts and neighborhoods.

About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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 Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties with the knowledge and opportunity to purchase a safe, 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 700 families with 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 in 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—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. In 2014, Habitat Chesapeake joined forces with Sandtown Habtiat for Humanity, building one united affiliate to better serve Central Maryland. Learn more about this exciting merger.

These mergers have allowed what is now Habitat for Humanity of the 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 more rural single-family dwellings. 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.

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

  1. the ability to pay
  2. the need for decent housing
  3. the willingness to partner

Houses are sold at an affordable rate with no-interest mortgages to qualified homebuyers who earn 25 to 60 percent of the area median income. By investing 250–350 volunteer “sweat equity” hours, future homeowners play an integral role in the building of Habitat homes. Homebuyers also are 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 also are 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 five locations throughout Central Maryland (Columbia, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Halethorpe and Sandtown), 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.


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 1982, 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.