About Habitat for Humanity
When UT Tyler Construction Management
students partnered with Habitat for
Humanity of Smith County last fall, they
joined a long tradition of helping people
realize the American dream.
Habitat for Humanity started in 1976
when Millard and Linda Fuller collected
funds from their local church in
Americus, Ga., to build a home for a
neighbor in need.
Since then, Habitat has helped to provide
housing to low-income families in the
U.S., Canada and over 100 other countries.
In fact, 279,723 housing needs have
been met since 1976.
Jack Wilson, president and chief operations
officer of the Habitat in Smith
County, said local applications are accepted
once a year from families. This year, 17
families are in the program — more than
ever before in the 19-year history of the
He said there was an increase of more
than 100 percent in volunteers this year.
“We are building more and doing more,”
The families who qualify to purchase
Habitat houses earn between 30 and 60
percent of the median income in Smith
County. They must demonstrate the
ability to pay their new mortgage, have
job stability, an acceptable debt-to income
ratio, a good credit history and
pass a criminal background check.
A candidate must also currently live in
substandard housing, in overcrowded,
dilapidated or unhealthy conditions.
And they are required to contribute 500
“sweat equity” hours by volunteering on
other Habitat homes. In addition, these
families attend classes on finances, home
ownership and many other topics.
“(The home) just gives them a whole new
lease on life, especially for the children. It
gives them a safe neighborhood, a clean
place to live and play,” Wilson said.
“They have ownership and that’s a big
deal. It’s good for the community. It has a
positive ripple effect throughout society.”
- President's Letter
- Around Campus
- Focus on: Faculty
- Focus on: Alumni
- Focus on: Benefactors
- Focus on: Students
- Patriot Athletics Season Highlights
- Class Notes