Facts / FAQs & History

Hancock County HFH (HCoHFH), an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is an independent, locally run, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose primary program is partnering with economically disadvantaged families to build simple, decent homes which are then sold to the partner, financed under an affordable mortgage.  

Note: At Habitat’s option, different loan product(s) may be offered to different applicants based on those product(s) helping the affiliate access more capital to serve more individuals and families. 

We offer homeownership opportunities to families who have demonstrated:

  • need (for adequate shelter) – e.g. family is extremely “cost-burdened” and/or is receiving temporary, non-sustainable financial support; current housing has defective physical conditions, is overcrowded, and/or is a temporary living situation
  • a willingness to partner – as Habitat ambassadors/spokespersons; through investing 250 hours of their own “sweat equity” in the project per adult (up to 500 per household); by participating in home maintenance and financial management counseling sessions
  • the ability to pay – the mortgage  [Often, families pay less to own a Habitat home than they pay for rent on a substandard apartment or house.] Financial eligibility guidelines include but are not limited to: being unable to obtain conventional financing and earning between 30% to 60%+/- of Hancock County’s median annual income.
Note: It is important to understand that our partner families are not buying their house to “flip it” and make a quick profit.  HCoHFH and our volunteer and donors’ investment is protected by the affiliate taking a second “silent” mortgage on the property.  Each home is independently appraised prior to closing to establish its Fair Market Value (FMV) and the difference between the first mortgage (priced based on affordability) and the appraised value becomes the silent second note. This secondary mortgage is gradually forgiven — provided there is no recorded default under the terms of the mortgage. Thus, when the first mortgage is paid off, the second mortgage has also been fully released.
  • Through the use of volunteer labor and donations we respond to the need in our community by building market-quality housing along-side the homeowner who is investing their own “sweat equity” in the project.
  • HCoHH is committed to keeping overhead costs to a minimum and to being good stewards of our donor’s contributions.  We have one full-time employee, our Executive Director, and four additional part-time employees who assist with ReStore operations.  All other work is performed by our dedicated volunteers.
  • Overhead/operating costs are defrayed by our Ellsworth ReStore which sells donated new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of their retail price.  Additional funds earned go to our home building efforts and reusable items are kept out of the waste-stream.
  • Each Habitat affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area — fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction and mortgage servicing.
  • No prior construction experience is required to volunteer on a Habitat construction site. (Due to state laws, minors must be 16 years or older to serve on the construction site and all under the age of 18 must arrive with a volunteer form signed by their parent or guardian.)
  • Non-construction volunteer opportunities include serving in our office or ReStore, on a committee (Family Selection, Site Selection, Fundraising, Public Relations, etc.), and/or on the Board of Directors.
  • Our first home was completed in the summer of 1991 in Gouldsboro, two years after our founding.
  • Since then, we have completed homes in Bar Harbor, Bass Harbor, Brooklin, Bucksport, Ellsworth, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Otis, Sedgwick, and Sullivan for a total of 18 homes built in 12 of the 37 towns in our 2,300+ square mile service area.
  • We have also helped build homes overseas.  Each year, affiliates are asked to tithe 10% of their unrestricted funds to a sister affiliate through HFH Int’l.  The past two years, our affiliate chose Romania as its tithe recipient.  Our annual tithe amounts to approx. 12% of the cost of building a home in Romania (using figures found in a 2012 realtor.com article).


Habitat for Humanity International

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International and its local affiliates have served a total of more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve 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.  Our success can be seen in our collective ranking as the 6th largest homebuilder in the U.S.  For more information on HFH International’s mission, please click here.

Our Vision
A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

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

All are welcome (Non-proselytizing policy)
Hancock County Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy. All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work and apply for housing regardless of race, color, religion, age, handicap, gender, orientation, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people.  As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.