The Habitat for Humanity Scam – Disguised as a charity.

Donation_Scam

It’s been a awhile since i posted anything, mainly because I was busy and as real life has a habit of doing, forces you to deal with it.  While I was dealing with life, I had spoken with a neighbor who asked that I sit in with a group of neighbors on the street to hear their story.   The people involved are homeowners who received their homes via Habitat for Humanity.

I’ve always thought of Habitat for Humanity as a good charity who helps people get a home, that they otherwise wouldn’t get.  And that was as a far I as I saw it.   I never went through the process they have, and didn’t dig much into how they operate. I assumed like most that this charity was good and my thoughts never went past that.

So I went and sat with the ten families on my street who “own” Habitat Homes and listened.    They have been arguing with Habitat for about a year now.   Some of them have owned their homes for four years now, some only one or two years.    Habitat has been pressuring them to sign brand new contracts forcing them to pay $100 per month for two parking spaces.

This is a problem for them.  Now after looking and speaking with them, I found out a few things.   Habitat was supposed to supply them (according to a print out from the website), that they were to provide the following:

1. 2 Parking Spaces per unit – (home owners would own these spaces)

2. Four major appliances – Fridge, Stove, Washer, and Dryer.

3. And each home would have a warranty.

4.  All maintenance on the common areas were to be cared for by habitat for humanity.
Now, these people had been told verbally that they would be freehold home owners.   In case you don’t know what freehold means, here is a legal definition of it.

An estate in land or other real property, of uncertain duration; that is,either of inheritance or which may possibly last for the life of the tenant at the least, (as distinguished from a leasehold;) and held by a free tenure, (as distinguished from copyholdor villeinage.)

Basically what it means is it is your land and not the land of someone else.   That you own it.   Which is fine and dandy to me.  If I want to buy a house as most who do, they want to own it,  So now we come to how Habitat operates.

I spent the weekend researching how they operate and with everything I read this sounded more and more like a scam, albeit a legal one.    Here is how it works:

First and foremost the target.  The criteria of the target has to be someone who is of low income.   There are many reasons for this.  The public knowledge one, everyone understands.  These low income people would never otherwise be able to afford to buy a home.   Sounds nice doesn’t it?    But what happens if there is a problem?  Another criteria is that the potential homeowner must make a certain amount of money.   If your on social assistance they won’t help you (the people who in many cases need it the most).  And they also tend of approve newcomers to Canada.  People who fled their country of origin, who don’t understand Canadian laws, and don’t understand contracts.   And the last criteria.  They must have at least one kid.  The more kids the better.

These are the people they choose. After reading almost a hundred stories online from people who dealt with Habitat, I realized this was a common theme.    Many who caught on early enough in the process before they signed their mortgages, who asked some legitimate questions, would all of a sudden find themselves “deselected” from the program and left in the dust after spending their “sweat equity” building their future home.

Those were the lucky people.

The ones who didn’t ask questions, trusted this “christian charity” and believed everything the board members would tell them and followed their instructions step by step would then find themselves with a new home, and then the nightmare begins.

Here is some background on how they operate.

When a Habitat, chooses to a group of families, they apply for government grants.  These grants can be up to $50,000 for each unit.   So in the case on my street, there are ten units.  That equals $500,000.00.  That money is supposed to go directly into building the homes.  Instead they obtain city land at a cost due to their charity status which means they get plots from old city land like community centers or schools for a cheap price, and they build on them.  They get companies like Home Depot to donate materials to build these homes.  And next they get volunteers and the families of the home owners, and the home owners themselves to put in “sweat equity” into the home.  They must do at least 500 hours into this.   In behind the scenes the homeowners are signing mortgage agreements, not with a legitimate bank, but with, you guessed it, Habitat for Humanity.

The only money I’ve found that is actually spent towards the home is the land purchase itself.   Zero money is put into the home, not in materials or labor.   And what makes matters worse is the labor is done by unskilled labor who never built a home in their life, guided by someone who allegedly has.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.  Do you think that these houses are going to be problem free new build homes?  The answer is a big no.   There will be mistakes made and problems will happen, which I will get into further down.

For the money side of things, there is another issue.   Habitat almost always uses the number $160,000 for the value of these new build homes.   The number starts around $145,000 or so and they tack on other numbers to get the $160,000 value.   In almost all cases I read, in every part of the world where people have written about their experiences, that number pops up like a red flag.     If you are reading this and don’t understand why, let me break this down.

Real Estate markets are different from city to city.   It is  impossible to have the same appraised value of any new build home, in so many parts of the world.  Some areas are depressed markets and some are inflated.   So the numbers shouldn’t be the same, but they are.  And that sends up big red flags and alarm bells for me.

So I asked myself how much of the money are they getting.  So I will list out the money.

1. $50.000 x 10 = $500,000.00

2. 10 mortgages for $160,000 = 1,600,000.00

Now the above amounts total over $2,100,000.00  approximately.  (Two Million, One Hundred Thousand dollars).  And because they are a charity, they get less taxed if at all for these numbers.

Now some costs are involved, so I in the case of my neighbors I would guess the land costs was under $400,000 if that.  Since it was a local non for profit community center selling to a charity.  So that leaves us with $1,700,000.00

That money goes directly into the charity coffers.   None of it goes into the properties themselves.

Are you seeing the problem yet?   Then we get into the home ownership deal.   When I did my research I found that in places that have a buyers market, they will buy up old run down homes at depressed values and fix them up and those go to the potential home owners.  That to me is okay.  Those are freeholds.

However, in areas where it’s a sellers market, meaning the property values are expensive and there are bidding wars going on, then they buy land, and not at full price but get it at a reduced cost and sometimes given to them by city governments.

Pure profit.

In real estate law, a lawyer cannot represent both parties.  This is a blatant conflict of interest.  The reason being is your lawyer is supposed to be working for you and your best interests.  And one cannot do that when they are working for both sides of the deal.    However, in Ontario, there is a loophole.  And that is if they give written disclosure to both parties and both parties sign a consent form to agree to the lawyer representing both parties and acknowledging the conflict and are okay with it.

This takes me into the other part on how Habitat Operates.   These low income families are unable to afford real estate lawyers of their own or find the idea daunting.  So Habitat steps in and graciously offers their lawyer to handle the paper work.  And why not?  These are trust worthy Christians aren’t they?  Working gods good deeds.   So you can trust them.

And so what happens in because the lawyer from Habitat is being paid from Habitat, the lawyer will allegedly do this “pro bono” for the low income family’s but because his time is valuable, will usher the folks into a room one by one to sign the documents, giving them less than five minutes to sign and not answer any questions or make sure they have a chance to read what they are signing.

None of these families I’ve read about nor spoken with felt that or had a lawyer work on their behalf.   When they had questions after they signed they would call this lawyer who they believed to be legit and working for them, and would ask for follow up questions on the contract or complain about disrepair would be met with the phone slamming down and a return phone call from a board member from the local Habitat Chapter, making a threat to evict them.

How can you evict someone who owns their home you ask?   Oh this is fiendish.   They own the mortgage, and they registered a condo corporation to manage the common elements of the land.  They built the homes on the land and so the homes are owned by the homeowners, (on the inside) and the outside is all owned by habitat.

In the contracts Habitat is supposed to be responsible to repair and maintain the properties,  That means, snow removal, grass trimming, maintaining the roofs of the homes etc.    There are even stipulations in these contracts that they cannot build additions etc without express permission from the condo board.

So now you have an idea on how they operate and understand a tiny bit of what happens.   If you are confused I will summerize.

1.  They get a profit of almost two million dollars plus from these homes.

2.  They don’t honor the warranties.

3. They are the land owner, bank, and condo corporation all in one.

4. They false advertise.

5. They use intimidation tactics when you try to complain.

6. They use fraudulent methods to trick desperate low income families to sign contracts.
I have you ask you, does this sound like a good christian charity?   One that you would trust?   I don’t, and I urge you not to trust them.   Save your money, hire your own lawyer, if you are trying to get your own habitat home.  Otherwise you will get fleeced.

56 thoughts on “The Habitat for Humanity Scam – Disguised as a charity.

  1. worked for habitat for humanity 3.5 years. After first year I noticed how this habitat treated its family partners after they moved into home. They leave them high an dry to deal with almost everything that has to do with homeownership. Ive had so many complaints from families that habitat wont answer their calls regarding repairs or just gives them the run around. 90 percent of families I’ve talked to wished they never bought a home through them. They don’t really own the home an never have a lawyer or any other then habitat employees. Don’t even want to get started with donations. I was fired due to my openiness to fight for the families rights an respect. Habitat for Humanity in Omaha treats everyone that’s not a donor like crap. Hated that place and am glad to be out of there. keep up the good work. It may been a good idea in the beginning but since then it’s all about the money. The CEO makes like almost 200,000 a year…For what???

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    1. I also worked for Habitat for Humanity for 3.5 years in Nebraska as a supervisor. First year your just so into doing good work you don’t notice how everything worked beyond the construction department. I loved the job an the IDEA that we were doing people justice with affordable housing. Not till I noticed a price list of how much it cost to build did I start to question their real motives. Most these homes are in very poor areas with no house over 60k. Now the homes I was building were half the size with cheap everything inside. They were being appraised for 160k a piece. Family partners started to visit my site asking for help in repairing things in homes. I had no problem doing this till I was told we are not a social service an since they lived in home they are responsible for everything. I felt first off they are spiking these prices even though everything other then my salary was donated. Later I found out a fellow employee had a sexual harassment charge an wasn’t fired. We were forced to go through very degrading course about harassment. I felt if the company had to go through it then where were the office staff? I made a simple comment about how to handle this as in front of whole constructions department was told by HR director I was just young an dumb. Next week they took my bonus an salary away demoted me from supervisor. Degraded by HR saying I didn’t know what I was doing although I never was red taged on any homes. I felt it was because I started questioning where the funds where going an why we were not helping these families when things went wrong. They would say their mortgage went up 1k after first year. I know a lot is grey area but I felt habitat left these families. That were not from America high in dry after they signed the papers. And then I noticed a lot of americans getting turned down I asked a simple question as to why a lot of people I knew got denied. Someone in department made a comment saying international stories bring donations and that’s just how it works. I decided then I would help whatever family needed if from calling police for them or calling in replacement windows going over department to get them fixed. They warranty the whole home for 2 years after built so it was habitats responsibility to maintain a safe home. All in all I felt habitat purposely spiked the prices of homes an made funds go to god knows where with no paper trails saying it was spent on party or tools. I know habitat as a whole is a scam. their restore is a scam as well. taking donated items an selling them 75% market value off the motto it goes back into program. They make bogus claims an don’t take care of family partners. let alone put people from the area they focus into affordable homes.They force them out an put any family that will get donations into them regardless if they even know how to make it here in America. I quit after being discriminated against because I was from the area and was told I need to learn to talk better. Im from the ghetto an knew most of the areas residents. I enjoyed working around the areas I grew up in but didn’t like the way habitat just pushed them out an put other families in areas because they brought donations.

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      1. I work for the power company and in the year and a half that I have worked there I have yet to see or talk to anyone that got approved that wasn’t a foreigner. It is rigged big time.

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      2. It is a scam my husband is a disabled veteran who information was compromised. They told us to go through a credit counseling we made the appropriate steps into going through home ownership the President sat and talk to us they took all information he said it is a 51/% that you are approved this is supposed to be a non profit organization my husband is a Veteran they didn’t even let us go through the whole process we were denied before we did that. The house was located on 10808 East 110th off of 93rd Cleveland Ohio this is a scam I contacted channel action 19 news they have discriminated against a disabled Veteran. This organization needs to be investigated they are doing something wrong we want Justice are living conditions are unsafe we are in a neighborhood where there is gang violence no heat and cannot accommodate a disabled person I will fight for my rights they have funding where is the help? I am sickened by this my husband is suffering for stable housing they are liars. A Christ like Charity no way I am disappointed and hurt by this organization.

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    2. Same crap is happening here in Hawaii. They built an ugly, scary condo smack in the middle of a neighborhood. The parking lot is right next to older homes and a DRUG house. How’s that! Careless and ignorant! Our daughter and family lived there an it was like a old folks home with a scary elevator ride and eerie hall way. Their truck got stolen and they were afraid to be there. Thank God they decided to leave no matter what contract habitat made with them. We expect habitat to take that ugly poorly built condo back an clear their name so they can buy a real place. What a bunch of crooks! I no longer have respect for this bunch of creeps.

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    3. What appears to be practically free , deserves a much closer look !
      Personally this removes much of the pride of ownership out of the equation !
      I have been asked numerous times to volunteer to provide carpentry skill to building one of these houses ?
      It really irritates me , cause I sweat to build my own home with my hard earned money and self acquired mortgage!
      This whole motive for “ habitec for humanity “ is to give “ church “ do gooders ,,,, get a high from obeying their private interpretation of the Jesus Doctrine !
      It is a scam and can be recognized by any person that has an ounce of common sense !
      May God deliver us from worthless endevours while putting big bucks $$$$$ in the pockets of those at the top of the pyramid scheme !

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    4. Habitat is a scam they have lied, stole, and cheated by drawing and recording a fraudulent survey which messed up the whole neighborhood (their subdivision ha what a joke…previous owner was denied building rights..it was family property! Wet lands FRM claimed and TOWN…Then habitat came in moved line down onto MY PROPERTY AND BUILT A HOUSE…THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS THIEVES …AND TOWN BACKS THIS LIE BULL.. CAN’T BELIEVE IT..CAN’T SLEEP I AM FLABERGASTED THIS IS BEING ALLOWED…WELL NO MORE HAVE A LAWYER THEY CAN ALL PAY…NOT TO MENTION I KNEW THE PERSON WHO MOVED IN WHO HAD HUGE INHERITANCE MAKING THEM NOT ELIGIBLE

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    5. I am.a partner family in Houston Texas the Habitats For Humanity NWHC, is doing that exact scam here as well. We have tried to retain legal counsel to deal with this demonic entity. They should be ashamed of themselves for using God’s name to scam people in need out of money! It’s a work of Satan! They will be exposed sooner or later! If you know of any class action law suites going on please replay with the contact information!

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    6. The 42 home owners in my neighborhood were forced to apply and receive a 14,200 grant from Harris County. We were told the homes would be priced at under 60k. When we got to closing the price was raised to 78 or 80k per home. They took the grant funds and added to the original price of the home. So according to the title company we hadtwo principal loans one for 14,2 the other for 65k. They never gave the title company.our grant check! So I have a promissory note for 65k which was the original price of the home to begin with. They took my grant money for them selves, self dealing, which is against the law. The 14,200 should have been subtracted from the 65k to make my home around 51k. They did this trick to all 42 home owners in my neighborhood. So they received approximately 20k additional funds from each homeowner not including what we have paid into the home in the past years! I always knew something was strange about they way they conducted business. I could never put my finger on it. After many years and much research I finally figured it out. They then told the title company they gave us a loan for 14,200 . The Executive Director Soleil Watt under the direction of many volunteer board members, and behind the whole scheme. They have since stopped sending my fanacial records to me after I have requested to see them. They qont answer any of my calls or emails, however they still want me to pay them every month on time! I’m thinking about stop paying and make them take me to court so I can exposed what they have done to me! This has to be stopped or we need to move forward with legal action immediately!

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    7. Yes, absolutely, they are a horrible organization. Don’t ever shop at a ReStore- the employees are mean, nasty, and abusive.

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    8. It’s been a year since we move in a habitat house. we did everything sweat equity you name it. before we moved in there were a lot of oak trees which the City of St. Petersburg Fl. give permission for Habitat to cut down they never. one of there tree fell over the house, went through the roof and the ceiling of three bedroom, hallway and the garage. we called the insurance and everything was going smooth until the check came from the insurance. however the insurance put our names and also habitat for humanity, the check came we cannot cash the check Habitat asked for the check to be put into our escrow account. even before the check come the insurance company wanted us to find contractor to repair the house. we called at least 20 companies so we can get estimate and bargain for the cheapest one. we found to top one that will do the roof and the ceiling for a good price. to sign the contract with one of the company with have to give $ 2000 down payment and the company has to send habitat their license, work permit, and we also have to bring to habitat the contract and the claim estimate from the insurance company. Every time we call the accountant that suppose to cut the check, never pick up the phone, once we email she will email back. the roofing contacted her she made an appointment with the roofing company to come get the check after we meet with her on Wednesday we signed the contract with the company and explained to them what is going on. so they allow us to signed the contract. because the same lady told the company and us the check will be ready the same day come to the office and pick up the check. no check still now and on top of that habitat has a repair program that they told us to signed the agreement cause no one can come on the property without habitat approval. now they do not want to give us our own money we pay every months to the insurance company. a lot of people from the office calling us they don’t even know how to repair a house or even fix a sing. they way going about it they want to take the money. I don’t know why would my insurance company put habitat name on the check and now the habitat company holding the money hostage. they want to find their own people that they partner with and dictated them how to fix the house and what to fix. we going to pay our own repair and them we going to lawyer up and suing them.

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  2. I agree with you 100 percent, I have a habitat house in Pensacola, FL and have found so many fraud within the paperwork that it is unreal. It is so bad that my house was not to be paid off until 2017, be when I gave information to an attorney and he shared it with habitat them call and stated that my house was paid off in April 2016 and sent me a $45 or $47 check and stated I sure receive a letter stating that the house is my because the house was never permitted, inspected, nor hooked to the City of Pensacola gravity sewer and s……………….o many falsified documents. My family and I have been living in a sick building for over 15 years and have had and developed health issues and more. I have worked hard from the age of 16 until age 53 and now I have health problems and more. Habitat for Humanity stole my America Dream for which I worked two sometimes three jobs so that I could retire and have a home paid for, but now we can not live in the house because it is contaminated, has mycobacteria, and s………..o much more going on with it.

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    1. Thank you for posting. This is the same story that I found over and over again in my research. The more this information is passed on, the less people they can scam. Feel free to share the article on social media.

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    2. Do you know what caused your health issues? The resident that lived in my habitat house prior to me died of cancer. I moved in January 2016 and after a 10 year remission my cancer came back February 2017. I’m worried my house has Chinese drywall/sheet rock because it was built one year after Katrina. I hope your situation has gotten better.

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  3. I have had a very negative experience with Habitat’s Global Village program in conjunction with Thrivent Financials. I was so enthusiastic about this program only to realize that it is not much more than a pyramid scheme with it’s team leaders, recruitment, fees and so called membership benefits. Someone needs to write an expose about the Dark Side of Habitat. It may have started out as a wonderful idea, but has evolved into something that seems to use only the veneer of “Christian Values”.

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  4. How about their resale stores?
    I thought the idea of these stores was to assist low-income people to obtain creature comforts at reasonable costs.

    I have shopped many of their “restores” and found many have a “back room” of newer (better) items that are only shown to “specific” people (Builders and people they “like”). I know this because I have had the “privilege” to enter a few of these “exclusive” rooms.

    In addition you will find a blatant pricing game on the sales floor.
    Sofas, end tables, lamps, and home furnishings are generally priced low. (The exception is collectibles and antiques which they price from referencing ebay. Some valuable items never even appear in their stores – they go directly to private buyers.)

    Low priced items are not what builders are looking for.

    Major appliances, tools, and any building supplies are higher priced. This is because builders (not needy people) can afford to purchase these items. The builders then resell them to homeowners through their business and still make a profit. So these necessities are not reaching needy people directly or at all.

    This pricing leaves most regular people out of the “game”.

    I have personally experienced Habitat declining my purchases in favor of selling to a builder. It is extremely frustrating.

    What once started as a great place to go if you needed to find something to help you in life has become too big and unaccountable. The idea was to help needy people. For most, Habitat has put so many solutions out of grasp because of the exclusive pricing and deceptive practices. (Don’t believe me? Go to a store and see the way they price items and ask the non-builder shoppers what they think.)

    I have been in retail management for years. My career has brought me clear understanding of the way stores are operated above and beyond the sales floor – where the customer never sees. I have also been involved with many local charities and charity outlets.

    The fall of the World Trade center created an outcry and demand of where all the charity money was going. We learned that most big named charities were scamming the American people. Somehow we have forgotten this lesson.

    The best charity begins at home. Someone in your neighborhood needs help. Maybe a direct neighbor. Give to them. You will know a face that was directly helped and grateful by your actions. You will SEE them smile and HEAR them thank you. You will FEEL the difference in knowing WHO you helped. (Isn’t that what community is about?)

    If you have items you want to find a home for post them on Craigslist. They have a take-away-free section. That’s GREAT charity!

    Large “charities” are always too big and costly. Most of the money rarely sees the charitable “cause”.
    Don’t just “believe” because its easy to believe that you are helping someone. The only one you are helping are those high up executives who might be running a “not-for-profit” organization but are also making a hell-of-a living doing it.

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  5. Unfortunately I am a Habitat homeowner here in Mankato, MN and the story is the same here. It was like a switch flipped as soon as we moved in. I’m ashamed to endorce this company. It sickens me that I ever stood for HFH. I have to wonder even if my house is fully paid for, will it ever truly be mine? Will I ever be rid of this wretched company?

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  6. I have a home from habitat too, I got in to a problem with making my payments, I got a hold of a lawyer I filled chapter 13, making two payment, well all of a sudden, my payment with habitat doubled, they said it was because I was behind in my escrow, so I was making my payments until one day I lost some hours, and missed a couple payment, next I knew i m getting papers that they are fill to take my house, since I missed my court date, I never got anything I had one, from habitat or my lawyer, so now in finding that I got 30 day to get the money I need and if I don’t I lose my house, not a care from them or help, so now I will be on the street,

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  7. we are having the same problem they wont work with you if you get behind on the payment they are treating foreclose on us and i am trying to get on disability and my lawyer said i wont get a hearing till next year and by that time we will lose the house i am from Le Sueur Mn they wont work with you at all and i know there is thing wrong with this house but they wont fix it and they promise to do they dont do it

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  8. and have you seen the cars and truck they drive they are not cheep at all they are all expansive car and truck one of them would be enough to pay my house off but they wont there money

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  9. I’m a partner family what is said in this article IS TRUE!!
    We are living in our place now 6yrs nothing but HUGE issues Habitat doesn’t care as we are homeowners YET every year we have to provide them with out income tax assessment they ALSO use our Canadas child tax benefit as income to get our mortgage amounts for next yr we are now up to over $1700/m for mortgage (that includes apx $200 property tax) BUT I would like to work full time but I can’t as all my pay would go to them. They arnt here to HELP families like they say we can’t get out of debt because our mortgage keeps going up it’s horrible. They should NOT be allowed to use money coming in for our kids but they do. I’m trying to get a hold of someone in government to investitgate them but no ones replied to help, IF i knew what I found out when we applied I would have run the other way fast.
    IF you want to sell you HAVE to offfer back to Habitat 1st, you HAVE you use a real estate agent HABITAT wants, etc…
    We have again tons of issue from day 1 maybe the media would like to hear. We deal with the Habitat for Humanity in Toronto

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  10. I spent a year picking up and soliciting donations at one out in Washington State. Everything said here is true and the problems start right at the top of the franchise and work from the inside out. From salary, to benefits, to the way they treat volunteers, all the way to the recently immigrated applicants and finally the end product.

    So in other words it’s a pseudo ponzi scheme inside of a ponzi scheme set up to benefit the upper managers and the corporate office the most. That may be true of any pyramid but the ones at the top in Habitat literally do nothing half of the day, they are always out “fund raising” or on sick leave. It is a joke…Some of the crap they pulled in the accounting office was flatout criminal and even with the mortgages, private donations, a store and zero costs other then overhead they were always in the red. I’m guessing they never get audited due to their non profit status.

    The store was unbelievably unscrupulous with unsafe conditions, employees taking dibs on donations for massive discounts, advantageous treatment of the mentally ill volunteers, and employees being screened and judged for religious affiliation and their dedication to god. The merchandise was always absurdly priced as well.

    The turnover at my location was so bad they held a day long conference at a hotel just to address people quitting by buttering them up with gifts, an outing and an all day buffet. Of course they didn’t change the way they operated afterwards.

    I could spend a whole day elaborating on their BS, this doesn’t even scratch the surface.

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  11. Reblogged this on Deadly Clear and commented:
    This ought to infuriate just about everyone… How much have we all in construction DONATED to Habitat for Humanity?! Well, let me shed some light on costs to build affordable housing, especially when there is so much labor donated. Separate the materials from the labor and materials will run about $36 -$42 psf on the high side. Full on licensed labor is usually less than $65 psf. Even if nothing is donated an entire affordable home would cost less than $100 psf. The larger the floor plan the less per square foot – it decreases.

    What I found astounding, but not surprising is that Habitat for Humanity is in bed with Fannie Mae, of course…

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  12. At this very moment I am in need of a good attorney to help me stop this predatory organization who has been fucking me over for the past 3 and a half years. Just because the executive director thinks am ungrateful for not eating a Hot Dog that they had offered to me now they don’t want to honor my contract so I have made a YouTube put in the name Habitat Crap and tell me if that ain’t so shit. If anyone can understand how bad I need help.

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    1. I am happy to have found this page, as I’ve been researching this information for some time now. My large family of 8 was accepted into our local Habitat for Humanity as a partner family and I personally spent close to 2 years of my life working on my sweat equity hours….got close to 400 and there was no communication going on, other than they claimed they were still looking for land or a house to ‘rehab’ for us and there was nothing big enough for my family. I finally called a meeting with the board members and we were told that we should probably pursue other options for homeownership because they simply couldn’t find anything. They were never planning to build us anything new to begin with…only wanted to buy a foreclosure to remodel. I even looked for houses myself and presented them with many options and they claim they didn’t have the funds to ‘buy’ for more than 10 or 15k. Hope all of this makes sense. I guess from what I’ve read that I am one of the lucky ones, but I am still angry about having thrown away all those many hours in free labor at their restore. I wish someone would shut them down!

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      1. If they can’t find homes for people and can’t hold up their end of the bargain then they should reimburse them for the hours they have worked. That is slavery and should not be legal at all 😦

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  13. You know I am really glad I came across this website. Its really hard to find any information regarding HFH. . The communication is terrible. I noticed this only happen once I paid my fee for the Home buyers Club. I have not heard anything from no one. Yet they place all on the website a Christian base company. I understand one might be busy, but one could stop and email or return someone’s call. I am really hurt because I want to become a home owner. I wanted to do this for my son. I notice as I get older that nothing is giving to you. It’s the powers that be that prevent you from getting what you want-through programs like this, you make too much money. I mean dang, how can the working poor class make it? Going through a traditional loan I was told, you have the funds but that credit score is poor. You either have to be broke or no job depending on the government to get any help. Even if I don’t get in through Habitat, I will become a home owner. I truly believe that you have to know somebody that know somebody to get in this program.

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  14. We were lied to repeatedly and given donated damaged 3 year old home appliances and when we did our deficiency walk through and made nite of it, we were told to take a hike or get real.

    You haven’t mentioned the fact that they include your families child tax as income and counts towards your overall mortgage payment. They base it off of your gross annual income and not your net. Leaving you taxed twice.

    Everything else you say is almost verbatim.

    Habitat is not a good charity. If you are someone who donates to them consider other options.

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  15. I volunteered for only one day at a project in Santa Cruz. Although not checked out “facts”, I was told the following by the site manager or workers: the City provided the land and skirted the law by providing a grant which was used to “buy” the land from the city (the city can’t just give pubic land away to private citizens). 850 families applied for 1 house. HOW is that person chosen? 90% of the workers were doing community service (the ones that show up every day anyway.. slave labor which SHOULD be CHEAP, but somehow the houses really aren’t). Jimmy Carter demands $1000 donation to take a pic and be on site with him? (only a rumor). Basic fact, there are MANY, MANY paid staffers. It all comes out of the charity pie. On a different project across the street, and ADU was built by Humanity. This also had a city grant that payed 1/2 the cost which was $160k. and the usual volunteer labor and donations. This is FULL PRICE to build a 500 sq ft structure on existing free land using ANY contractor with fully paid staff. Now a good deal for the tenant (1/2 price).. who also happened to be a city employee.. strange coincidence, and the first ADU built with this program in the city.

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  16. We need help, a lawyer or someone who can advocate for us. We are a habitat for humanity family and for the past year we have been being bullied into losing our home. Our mortgage was signed in 2012 for $1225/month and this year and previous years Habitat raised our mortgage to $2000/month from 2014-2016 it was no problem to lower it from $2000 to $1000 but this past year Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t budge on lowering our payments. So in 6 months paying what we could we are in arrears (for our own money) totalling in what they estimate to be $9000. We were sent an eviction notice for April 2018 and the amount they are offering us to buy back the home is less then $25,000 not including what they want to take off for arrears (for our own money) and what they feel is damage to the home, new floors and paint and whatever else they can find. Our home was not built properly the back of the house is not even insulated right, our siding isn’t installed properly, the electrical and plumbing had to be repaired when we moved in and I’m not even sure if it’s up to code, when our house settled there was cracks in the drywall our front and back doors have gaps and when I repainted just about every second screw had to be screwed back in and mudded. The Shaw and telus was not installed properly so when we got it hooked up they had to drill a hole in the furnace room, I had to pay a $250 fine because they didn’t do the landscaping for 2 years and the weeds were everywhere with the “garbage dirt” that was used, when the tree in the back was hit by lightning they said we had to remove it ourselves and they wanted us to pay for the fence or pay the $1000 deductible. Ended up they paid for the fence once our landscaping was finally ready to start. When our water heater broke due to a bird flying in from a pipe that had no screen we had to fix that ourselves as well. This is just some of the problems and not once complained. I feel we are getting ripped off by them even if we do have to move. The first year of payments we made is not even included on our mortgage we are missing a full year of paying $1225/month. I asked for a copy of our payments many times but was told I couldn’t have them. When I finally received a copy it totally dosent make any sense. What kind of lawyer do I need to call to help us figure out our situation? To get the amount that is rightfully owed to us.
    Frustrated in Edmonton Alberta.

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    1. Hi Shawna, The type of lawyer I think you would need is a real estate lawyer. They should be able to help you with this, and if not direct you to the right lawyer. Just stay away from the original lawyer who “helped” you originally. They work for habitat and not you, and they will actually call Habitat to let them know you are seeking legal council.

      I hope this helps and please keep in touch to let me know what happens?

      Mike

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      1. We have similar problems here in West Palm Beach, FL. Don’t even waste your time finding a lawyer Real Estate nor Litigation, or Civil. God forbid you paid your mortgage late with the late fee. They use that as to why Habitat is correct while charging you 350.00 an hour to see if they even want to read over your documents to take on the case. Not one attorney listened nor offered any suggestions. Our problem here is miss managing our mortgage payments. Not keep proper allocation and books for YEARS. Not providing specifics on how we owe what they are indicating. They just tell you that you owe more money on your principal with a lump sum price that done match your principal, and less on your escrow. HFH owners don’t have NO Protection, HFH is not FDIC but can be a lender, yet do not report to credit bureau, yet follow R.E.S.P.A only when they see fit to gain. They drop you and speak to your aggressively, then state that you are argumentative and abusive. While trying to single you out as if you’re the only one that have a problem. They receive a multitude of donation based on the actual people in these homes, yet pick and chose what they offer to what homeowners or LIE and state they sent out letters like ALWAYS. They have falsified documentation to servicers opening accounts based off of old documents. They also were not the holder of the mortgage(Northern Trust) at the time of signing homeowners up for servicing with (AMERINAT). They have lied several times in writing and are so contradicting. They hang up on you when calling after they have over talked you not listening to your questions. Send you to a local attorney to represent them and send you out letters without proper documentation. When you request the basic documents pertaining to the attorney’s request, all while the attorney states ” Habitat is not a bad company.” Yeah right, tell that to the people that have gave their homes back and walked away. Tell that to a homeowner that have been paying and HFH sends out notices every end of the year stating that they owe a LUMP sum of more money, yet it doesn’t add up to what their monthly payment is requested of. We have proof, and not afraid to speak on it or give the documents. We just want what we worked hard for and TRUSTED them on while signing that COVENANT. They are thieves, very degrading when you’re speaking to them, the CEO and CFO speak to you as though you’re ignorant, and poor. I PRAY THAT G OD INTERVENES, BECAUSE THESE HOMES WERE BUILT ON AND IN HIS NAME. We may not have anyone to listen to us but GOD will make a way. KEEP PRAYING EVERYONE. I pray for a Class action. We did not do all these Sweat equity hours for nothing, nor pay closing cost.

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  17. i just started working for these sleeze balls under the impression they were a reputable and respected organization boy was i wrong. not only do they treat costumers like trash they hire convicted felons specifically a rapist and a drug dealer and they hire illegal immigrants but since my state is a “sanctuary state” run by traitors these piles of human trash are allowed to get jobs that should go to hard working americans it sickens me

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  18. Habitat in south county are theives liars scam artists and viscious! They actually steal land from private homeowners who have been denied building rights ….then move boundary lines onto another’s property to build. I AM SHOCKED THAT THIS IS BEING ALLOWED BY THE TOWN AND THE STATE. EVEN THE CORRUPT JUDICIAL SYSTEM

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  19. Have some friends who are about to sign for a HFH house. What is that second mortgage (silent mortgage) and why is a 6k grant included in the value of the mortgage???
    What are the grants for; I would think that was for the potential home owner to help with the down payment???? But if that is what the “silent mortgage” is for, then what is the grant for and why do they pay it back.
    When the couple asks questions the HFH rep. is rude an threatens them with disqualification.
    What do you mean that they never really own the house???
    I told them to go to a separate representative to ask questions about what they are signing for so they know full well what they are stepping into.
    Do they not get the standard “three days” to look over the contract??? I told them take the contract to a separate party to look it over with them, especially the “silent” mortgage.
    If this is not a “freehold” property then what is it? Can they leave it to their kids?
    This makes no sense to me. Seems like a money grabbing scam. I was thinking of volunteering but then I saw how my friends were treated and how this has progressed. I started reading up on it and do not like what I am reading so far.
    Went to the dedication which was to sing the praises of HFH and not for the family. One of the people who went through the ceremony of receiving her home was later disqualified because she had a serious health issue that prevented her from completing the “sweat equity” requirements. So sad.
    I hope there are good chapters out there that really do help people.

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    1. Second mortgage is doubled the 1st. Per HFH the second mortgage is so that the homeowner will not be able to sell. Which is something I need to still search on. Because HFH will try their best to obtain the grant (free money) using the home and act as though they never did. Then they will sell the mortgage to a different holder immediately. They are a NON-Profit yet switch between to not-for-profit. The mortgage is allocated in the office under Habitat, not individual accounts per resident. Along with another if not the same account for the escrow. Today they are making homeowners sign a 30 year mortgage with a 30 year second mortgage. Remember these homes are built is rural areas. If they are asking questions they better take heed. IT IS NOT RIGHT. HFH has their hands into many programs, lawyers, TV stations, anything that can cover up the complaints, and their mess in a soft way. I say they have a LOT of IOU’s out here. There are more companies that offer home building assistance and run sufficiently. Adopted family is one. They make sure you have records for your escrow account, how much you pay each month and what it was applied to and correctly. The bank they use send out a bank statement every month. HFH stopped sending out monthly statements on outstanding balance, and when asked stated they don’t have to. ALL I can say Is RUN! Yes, the mortgage is inexpensive, Yes, non interest but they do not have you best interest at heart. They gain off of low poverty and give them crumbs.

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  20. Wow, I just got my denial letter from HFH today and after reading this I’m glad I was denied. I guess I dodged a bullet but very sad because I really wanted my own home. I believe what the ex employee said about international stories bring in donations because I work for the power company and see face to face many of the people who did get approved when they come in to set up their power and in the year and a half that I have worked there I have yet to see one that wasn’t a foreigner and the same goes for my co workers. With those kind of odds I refuse to believe it’s not rigged in their favor. Also I was curious as to why so many Muslims apply for HFH since that is all I see getting approved. I ran across a question and answer piece asking why Muslims were seeking home loans since there was interest involved. The person evidently didn’t know these are interest free homes and the answer was “since we do not charge interest it is not a conflict with their religion. I did not understand so I looked it up and found out that it is against their religion to either charge interest or pay interest and it is mentioned in the Quran many times. What a total scam if you ask me. I truly believe God was watching out for me on this one big time.

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  21. I was fraud by a contractors company 2twice and got ripped off on other stuff while rebuilding my house, I lost all my money and the materials they stole twice left with no money no house.
    After being on local tv, Habitat step in telling me they might can help, they felt so sorry for what happened to me after this ppl stole all my materials twice and all my money $34,000.and left with no house just damages. I was happy thought Habitat going to help me.. But Noooooooooooo they sent me letter say I’ll have to pass them my house rights and deed, and pay over $40,000 for them to help. After arguing and telling them why will I pay for donations ypu getting and free labor? He didn’t really had much to say, I said what kinda organization for humanity are you who trying to scam the people in thief worse time of life,? You are not none profit organization your are 100% profit and more. Long story short I said Heck no. I’m not gonna let them scam me out my house and money.
    They here for community help not rip off.
    I have the letter I’m trying to move forward with it some one really have to dig into that company. Maybe FBI, IRS….

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  22. Someone needs to sue these crooks. I remember volunteering for them in 2008. They built 12 condo units in Fairfax, va, each was 700sqft and sold them to the homeowners for 240k. 700Sq FT!!! That is the size of the garage. They also raise mortgage payments on homeowners and the building quality is so poor. Using God’s name and religion to profit off of low income families, thieves.

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    1. No, attorneys will touch them in fear of tarnishing there name. Please see my comments above on October 19, 2018. Regretful homeowner.

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      1. You obviously didn’t read any of their stories nor did you read the article I wrote. I don’t be publishing your comment as it doesn’t accomplish anything constructive. Thank you for trying anyway.

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  23. The homeowners get a mortgage not to an actual bank but to Habitat. Habitat acts as the bank. Normally people of low income do not qualify for a mortgage with banks. And Habitat in many cases don’t honor the warranties. They don’t, because the homes are built with unskilled labor and always have flaws. They rarely give what’s promised. In my area they didn’t give my neighbors the promised 4 new appliances. They gave them used fridges and stoves. Then they wanted to charge an extra 100 dollars for parking after they promised the families a parking spot per unit. As advertised on the website that they had to apply on. Plus, in Habitat stores, they take some of that donated material like kitchen cabinets, new fridges and stoves, washer and dryers and sell them.

    If you read the article, you would know that Habitat doesn’t like to actually put much money into the homes and likes to make a tidy profit from these people they claim to help.

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  24. Why is this the only negative news I’ve heard about Habitat. Some of this is hard to believe as I have not found a single negative article other than this. I am researching Habitat for a school paper and would like to know.

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    1. If you search on google, you can find thousands of stories like this. Also please see the comments on this article. As you will find, many people who commented have their own negative stories about Habitat.

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    2. I work as a Manager in their RE-Store and I am here to tell you that they are the most deceptive, two faced company I’ve ever dealt with!!! Get this- they don’t even pay their employees enough money to qualify for a Habitat House!!! I was stunned when I heard this!
      They work us into the ground!!! I am a woman, and I’m pretty strong and all I do is move furniture on and off trucks, on and off the floor, I get the furniture when customers come to pick up their items. I’m absolutely exhausted to the bone every single day. They have us clock in and out and give us 30 min for lunch and two 15 min breaks in an 8 hr day. I was an average of 8-10 miles a day INSIDE the store! They will not let you sit down and catch your breath, the break room (which I took on and cleaned for no less than 12 hrs and tossed the plastic silverware that had rat droppings and rat urine all over them. Mold in the fridge, dirt and filth in every square inch of that place! I sent one of my employees to the dollar store to buy cleaning supplies (that I was paying for) and was told that we have to use OSHA approved cleaning products. Since when are they going by OSHA standards? They would shut that place down if they stepped foot in there! I had to dig a back brace out of the trash the other day
      As they do not supply us with safety gear or instruct us on how to lift, etc. Anyway, back to the OSHA approved cleaning supplies….turns out it’s prison issued and right underneath the label is states harmful to humans and animals!!!! Needless to say, I paid for cleaning supplies and I didn’t give a rip what anyone had to say about it. I made the break room nice, clean and tossed out the broken tables and wobbly chairs and put some chairs and such in there from the floor. Just yesterday, I was told I had to put the items back bc they could sell the shelf I had in there for $95! I lost my mind!! The volunteers and staff deserve to have a clean and sane place to eat their lunch or to catch their breath! The regional manager came to the store today and told me to get rid of the loveseat I put in the warehouse so my team could have a place to sit and tie their shoes!!
      He also told me (when I told him we needed to come up w a solution for all the end tables we have as there was no where to put the donated items that were coming in on the floor. We were stacking end tables two and three high which is an accident waiting to happen! He looked at me and said “there is always room. Pointed his finger in my face and said “Make it happen!” Now let me tell you that I went to work for them bc I needed something to do. I had semi- retired from being a Vice President of Business Development of a pharma company and a medical technology company and I surely wasn’t going to be barked at by an asshole that worked his way up from driving a donation truck. I looked at him like he lost his mind!! Needless to say, I walked away from him shaking my head. Oh, I also suggested that instead of THROWING away perfectly good table and chairs (so we could make room for the Ashley Furniture tables) we should post them on our FB page and give them away. He said NO and we were instructed to throw away about 10 table and chairs. Btw, this happened today and I have not thrown out a single table and won’t! They can fire me, I don’t care.
      In short, they are an abusive company that doesn’t care a thing about their employees! We are underpaid and WAY overworked!! I’m disgusted with them and I will not stop until there is a Dateline or 20/20 show exposing them for what they are!!! And that’s a promise!!

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