Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley works to enrich Washtenaw County through a legacy of affordable homeownership for families of low-income.
Our vision: we build communities, not just houses
It is a beautiful Saturday afternoon in October 2026, and we are thrilled with the work Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley has accomplished and how our organization has grown. Habitat is seen as the leader in affordable homeownership in Washtenaw County. Our affiliate was recently recognized for our work in improving the income and housing diversity between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, having a measurable impact on breaking the generational cycle of poverty, and positively impacting property values in partner neighborhoods. In the past ten years, our organization has improved its sustainability on many levels and has grown private development funding to more than 30% of annual revenue. A strong employee-board-volunteer cultivation and training program is in place. Habitat has developed a reputation as “best investment in town” by partner families, employees, donors and community leaders. We continue to be recognized as an Affiliate of Distinction and our partnership with Habitat Guatemala remains strong. Come with us on a visit to one of our neighborhoods . . .
When you arrive in Ypsilanti, you can’t miss the new grocery store and coffee shop in West Willow. And as you pass by the Habitat satellite office (the pilot for what has become standard in our target neighborhoods) you’ll notice that it is next to the neighborhood community garden. The group working today on a nearby house renovation is comprised of a few volunteers associated with a full house sponsor, as well as Partner Families that are going through the homeownership program, a Family Support Partner, a staff member, and a few Habitat homeowners who have returned to volunteer.
The homeowners have bonded while attending the continuing education Home Maintenance classes, where they have learned to do things like change a doorknob and install a kitchen backsplash. They have even created a Home Project Party group, where they get together to help each other with projects like painting rooms. Habitat’s satellite office meeting space allows a convenient spot for Habitat Education Program offerings like Financial Coaching and group classes like Financial Basics for Kids and Life After High School. Homeownership and improved financial literacy stabilize families, and by working with residents, local governments, police, schools and businesses, Habitat has helped transform this neighborhood into a thriving community.
As the safety introduction finishes up and the group gets to work on the house, Jackie, who is one of the Partner Families, eagerly shares that she has just selected her home-to-be in a multi-unit building in Ann Arbor, which is where she works. Jackie is excited about moving out of her tiny rental and into her new, ideally located home. Jackie talks about the friend who introduced her to Habitat. This friend lives in Ypsilanti and is able to age in place because of Habitat’s help in making needed repairs on her home, including the furnace, roof, insulation, and refrigerator as well as grab bars, hand rails and a ramp.
Frank picks up a paint brush and smiles, thinking about the meeting the day before explaining the new benefits package and christening the updated break room with the “new to us” ice cream machine in the office. He has worked for Habitat for 12 years and loves that while there has been some turnover, there are still many familiar faces from when he first started. Habitat has a reputation among area non-profits as being a very desirable place to work, in part because of its strong leadership team, which continues to think creatively about how to engage target neighborhoods. Frank goes over to talk to a neighbor who has stopped by and tells her about the many home improvement programs and classes Habitat has to offer, which the neighbor is eager to learn about.
Andrew is a new Family Support Partner working alongside his Partner Family, Jackie, and was introduced to Habitat through his church, which has a long history of working with Habitat. Andrew is excited about the upcoming Habitat gathering, which is a signature event every year, drawing Habitat homeowners and many influential community members. He has also helped with newer fundraisers, such as an annual breakfast, which introduces new donors to Habitat. Each of the 30 or so houses Habitat closes per year is unique and may be financed in a variety of ways. Some are fully sponsored homes working with an all-volunteer crew; some homes with simple renovations have low, interest-bearing mortgages provided by a bank; and some homes are affordable to very low income households with Habitat’s traditional no-interest mortgage. The ReStore and other income-generating programs bring in 20% of Habitat’s annual revenue and cover administrative costs. This makes it possible for Habitat to serve 200 families and assist 1000 households in Washtenaw County every year!
As four o’clock draws near, the House Leader takes a moment to remind everyone of the dedication coming up for a Partner Family, Carlos and Esperanza, who will be getting their keys at the closing shortly after. Teary eyed, the husband and wife thank everyone and say that the sweat equity, classes, and saving have all been worth it, that they will be proud to be Habitat Homeowners, and that their lives will be improved not only by owning a house, but by feeling like they are a valued part of their community. They plan to participate in the many post-purchase support classes and meetings offered by and for Habitat homeowners and partners and will recommend Habitat to their family and friends.
To view Habitat for Humanity International’s Mission and Vision, click here.