What is Sweat Equity?

[Blog by Sophia Williams, Development Associate, Special Events & Marketing]

Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley partners with families to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Each future homeowner is required to complete 250 hours of ‘sweat equity’ before closing on his or her home. ‘Sweat equity’ is the term we use for the time that families invest in: renovating homes, working on exterior projects, volunteering at the Habitat Restore, attending financial wellness classes, and any volunteer hour that helps the overall mission of Habitat. Some Home Improvement Programs also require families to put in sweat equity hours.

Future homeowners work hard to renovate their future homes and neighboring Habitat homes alongside volunteers and staff. By completing sweat equity, families become an integral part of the renovation process of their soon-to-be home. Our families are committed to improving their lives through homeownership and work closely with us to achieve their dreams of homeownership. Through shelter, we empower.

“It’s about doing the work — the hard work — to bring an idea to life… That work becomes an investment in the project. It can be an investment as real as money or land.” (HFHI)

There are three important goals that sweat equity is designed to meet:

Partnership. Sweat equity provides meaningful interaction among families, Habitat staff, volunteers, sponsors/donors and community members. By volunteering alongside our families our supporters get to know them and the families get to know our supporters. Future homeowners become part of the community before they have even moved in.

Pride in Homeownership. Sweat equity hours worked on their home allows families to feel proud of their long-term investment in homeownership. Their own hard work is seen every day in their home, reminding them of what it took them to get there.

Development of Skills and Knowledge. Family members learn more about the maintenance and upkeep of their home as they work alongside volunteers. By working on their soon to be home, homeowners become more confident in their handy skills and are more prepared to take on the responsibility of homeownership.