The concept of Habitat International is simple. It is not a handout but a hand up. Houses are built with contributed materials and money with volunteer labor. Completed houses are sold and financed over 20 to 30 years interest free. The monthly house payment money paid is then used to finance the construction of more houses. Homeowners are selected based on a number of criteria such as their present living conditions and their ability to pay for the
house. They must also be willing to partner with the affiliate by contributing sweat equity and a small down payment. A second note covers the value of the contributed labor and is forgiven at a percentage each year.