• Report: #246511

Complaint Review: Habitat For Humanity

  • Submitted: Wed, May 02, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, June 22, 2011

  • Reported By:minneapolis Minnesota
Habitat For Humanity
3001 4th Street S.e Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Habitat For Humanity denied a house twice because im a white american with 1 child Minneapolis Minnesota

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Family Selection process fair?

*Consumer Comment: To "WHO"...

*Author of original report: re- habitat

*Consumer Comment: Sour Grapes

*Consumer Comment: It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

*Consumer Comment: It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

*Consumer Comment: It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

*Consumer Comment: You need to understand ....

*Author of original report: get educated on habitat before you respond

*Author of original report: re habitat

*Consumer Comment: Mary, please don't raise your daughter to lie to get what she wants

*Consumer Comment: People with a greater need.

*Consumer Comment: Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses

*Consumer Comment: Agreed! Had a friend who had the same issue.

*Consumer Comment: I don't see where you have been cheated out of anything DUE to you

*Consumer Comment: Cheated?

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let me start off first by saying "ripoff" doesn't really apply here. CHEATED is more appropriate. in june 1999 i called habitat for humanity, met with them to discuss the application process etc. they (with my permission) pulled a credit report. i had about $5,000 in bills i was paying off.and my son and i were living in a 1 bedroom apartment.

the person i met with told me in order to qualify for consideration i would need to file bankruptcy (which im sure they will deny)and wait 1 year. so in august 1999 i filed chapter 7. waited out the year and applied in 2000 for a house.DENIED!

they said i "qualified" but the "selction committee" felt that other people had a greater need.(like the croatian computer programmer with a wife who doesnt work and their 3 kids)this family was featured in the local sun/sailor news paper. or the ex co-worker of mine who bragged to me that she rents out her habitat house so she can live with her boyfriend.or the woman who at the last minute turned down a house she was offered by habitat because her mother passed away and she inherited her house. none of these people were white americans.

i DONT have a reletive to leave me or my son anything! i was a single white woman with 1 child who has tourette syndrome. my son has been in special education his entire life. community college (at best) is what he has to look forward too. section 8 if hes lucky. i wanted a house not necessarily for me ...but for him.

i called habitat after i read the denial letter (which took me 2 days to open)i asked what the word "need" meant. i guess a black woman with 5 kids a (all with different dads) needed a house more than my son and me.she wont have to marry a guy she met on the internet who she doesnt love and move from minneapolis to fort worth texas where they dont know anyone because the house's there are way cheaper and all she's trying to do is secure her kids future. thanks for nothing habitat.

anon
minneapolis, Minnesota
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/02/2007 08:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Habitat-For-Humanity/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55414/Habitat-For-Humanity-denied-a-house-twice-because-im-a-white-american-with-1-child-Minneap-246511. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Family Selection process fair?

AUTHOR: Critical Thinker - (United States of America)

I read this report and had to rebut.  I volunteered with Habitat for a year and left out of disgust about many of their operations. One of them was their family selection process, but not for the reasons you describe.

Your denial was appropriate in that the family selection committee is instructed by the Habitat guidelines to consider the size of the family and the economic situation of the family.  A large family with multiple children would have a harder time economically and thus would be considered in more need of help than a family with one child, or no children.

The affiliate I worked with has in fact placed two mothers that had only one child and I disagreed with that decision in that I felt that there existed plenty of large families that needed safe and affordable housing more than a family with one child.  Obtaining housing for a large family is difficult and expensive and puts a family in a risk economic risk category, bumping up their eligibility for a Habitat house.

What was wrong with your situation was how you were treated and what you were implicitly promised.  This type of treatment of applicants is more common than people would like to admit.  It was careless of anyone associated with Habitat to tell you to file bankruptcy and that this would immediately qualify you for a home.  They should have realized that Habitat applicants are often so excited about getting qualified to buy a habitat house that they often will do whatever they are told -- the trusting of Habitat and their assumed authority in these matters is a no-brainer.  Blaming you for your decision to file isn't completely fair but unfortunately, as these operations occur so causally, its your word against theirs.

I'm sorry you had this experience, but you were one of the lucky ones, not everyone who has been locked into a twenty or more year mortgage at an inflated value is so happy they got their goal anyway -- consider yourself lucky and move on. 
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#2 Consumer Comment

To "WHO"...

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Hi, Where did I say that I said to "act" like you are desprite...all I said was that maybe she didn't appear to be in need of a home built by HFH. I didn't suggest to her to lie about her needs..clearly she doesn't have to lie. Many government and charity companies who rely on mostly donations need to have strict guidelines for each person that comes crawling on their knees for help, other wise they would have everyone and anyone at their door.

Now, about you picking my post out of everyone elses and then disecting it and leaving out the parts where I said I agreed with her that she was cheated out of a home was not only rude and ignorant of you but also shows you clearly are the type of person who doesn't know how to read nor understand what I was trying to say.

If I had two different people coming to my door and asking for 5 bucks to eat and one of them is dirty and smells bad and clearly has no money and the other one looks like they just took a shower and has on clean clothes you better believe I'm going to give the 5 bucks to the dirty one not the clean one. I was just stating that when she came and talked to them and everything maybe there was another family in greater need than she was at the time. They have a chart they go by to determine whether this family is in greater need than the second family after them in line. Just because she had all her paper work in order does not gareentee a home for her.

There are homeless people getting denied food stamps while people living in a 100,000 dollar home is receiving full benefits. I bet you if she goes back and continues to push the door down with them (not litterally) they will eventually give in or they will forward her to another charity/program that can help her and her family.

With all that being said, please learn to read between the lines when someone says things it's not always what they are trying to say...ie; when I said act desprite I was not saying for her to lie. I was just saying that she didn't appear needy at the time..well, not enough for them to approve her for a home. Meanwhile if you continue to read on I did agree with her not go against her. And NEVER EVER critize my parenting skills because you don't know me and you will never know me nor my family.

In fact my child is actually proven to be very bright for her age and it's only because I am here with her and teach her the things in life she actually needs to know. Unlike yourself my morals and my life skills are up to par sounds like to me you are just jealous. Get over it and move on!
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#3 Author of original report

re- habitat

AUTHOR: Who - (U.S.A.)

yeah, i guess you guys are right. there are alot more deserving people than myself who needed those houses. i wish all the best to the croatian family (who now it turns out makes $70,000 a year) she wasnt working so they would meet habitats income guidlines. local news busted them but habitat wont take the house away. and lets not forget catherine my ex co-worker who's been renting out her "desperatly needed" habitat house for 5 years now. and last but not least the 2 income childless couple. you've opened my eyes.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Sour Grapes

AUTHOR: Catherine - (U.S.A.)

So sad that you didn't get a HFH house but yes the woman with 5 children no matter what her ethnic background would be in more need than you. In fact, I can think of many many families that would be ahead of you for the homes I worked in the construction industry for 10 years and helped out on the building of 6 different houses.

I can tell you that the family in ever case had at least two children, had never filed for bankruptcy, and put in long and hard hours to get their home built. I know HFH to be a fine and color blind organization. Stop thinking that they "owe" you a home - they don't. Their guide lines look at many different criteria when they select who will get the houses.

Its their choice based on their guide lines. Unfortunately they get many more applications than home sites and I've never seen a family yet that didn't deserve the home.
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#5 Consumer Comment

It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

AUTHOR: Jodi - (U.S.A.)

l*****n couple ? How do you feel you are more deserving than them ? Since they are lesbians, then I guess they're less deserving, right? It seems by all of your posts, that Habitat for humanity is making GOOD decisions. I'm by no means attacking you. I wish you the very best, especially your son. You seemed to have made your circumstances worse by filing bankruptcy. If you are able to work (it sounds like you are), then you need to work your tail off. I'm 29 years old and I have 4 kids ages 11, 10, 8, and 2 years old (all with one father). My husband is almost 40, and yes, we worked our tails off to get what we have.

It wasn't easy, but it is possible. There was a time in the 90's when we would have killed to get a free home, but our pride would not let that be an option. Especially since we knew, if we worked hard enough, we could do it ourselves, and we did! The lesson it showed our kids ( to do it yourself, and overcome ) is priceless!

I wish the same for you, Please don't get stuck in the welfare/handout cycle. All it does is allow the rich to get richer and the poor to become poorer.
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#6 Consumer Comment

It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

AUTHOR: Jodi - (U.S.A.)

l*****n couple ? How do you feel you are more deserving than them ? Since they are lesbians, then I guess they're less deserving, right? It seems by all of your posts, that Habitat for humanity is making GOOD decisions. I'm by no means attacking you. I wish you the very best, especially your son. You seemed to have made your circumstances worse by filing bankruptcy. If you are able to work (it sounds like you are), then you need to work your tail off. I'm 29 years old and I have 4 kids ages 11, 10, 8, and 2 years old (all with one father). My husband is almost 40, and yes, we worked our tails off to get what we have.

It wasn't easy, but it is possible. There was a time in the 90's when we would have killed to get a free home, but our pride would not let that be an option. Especially since we knew, if we worked hard enough, we could do it ourselves, and we did! The lesson it showed our kids ( to do it yourself, and overcome ) is priceless!

I wish the same for you, Please don't get stuck in the welfare/handout cycle. All it does is allow the rich to get richer and the poor to become poorer.
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#7 Consumer Comment

It seems that Habitat for Humanity is making GOOD choices

AUTHOR: Jodi - (U.S.A.)

l*****n couple ? How do you feel you are more deserving than them ? Since they are lesbians, then I guess they're less deserving, right? It seems by all of your posts, that Habitat for humanity is making GOOD decisions. I'm by no means attacking you. I wish you the very best, especially your son. You seemed to have made your circumstances worse by filing bankruptcy. If you are able to work (it sounds like you are), then you need to work your tail off. I'm 29 years old and I have 4 kids ages 11, 10, 8, and 2 years old (all with one father). My husband is almost 40, and yes, we worked our tails off to get what we have.

It wasn't easy, but it is possible. There was a time in the 90's when we would have killed to get a free home, but our pride would not let that be an option. Especially since we knew, if we worked hard enough, we could do it ourselves, and we did! The lesson it showed our kids ( to do it yourself, and overcome ) is priceless!

I wish the same for you, Please don't get stuck in the welfare/handout cycle. All it does is allow the rich to get richer and the poor to become poorer.
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#8 Consumer Comment

You need to understand ....

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

There are many, many people with outstretched hands, trying to get a Habitat house and anything else they can obtain at little or no cost to them. These people are white, black, Hispanic, Asian ... you name it. It has absolutely nothing to do with race.

The great majority of people who apply for a Habitat home are denied, simply because there are too many applicants for the available number of houses. Were you denied based on race? Absolutely not! You were likely denied based on the issues I noted in my previous post, as well as the fact that you are a single mother with only ONE child.

Don't you think that perhaps a single mother with SEVERAL children, or a married couple with children, would need an affordable house more than you do? Since there are only two of you, there is no reason why you can't reside comfortably in a two-bedroom apartment. Perhaps instead of pursuing Habitat exclusively, you should look into HUD or Section 8 housing if finances are truly a factor in your ability to provide adequate housing for yourself and your child.
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#9 Author of original report

get educated on habitat before you respond

AUTHOR: Who - (U.S.A.)

to the people who are responding to my original post please educate yourself on the program before you respond with stupid comments like "free house" and dont accuse me of not wanting to put in my fair share of sweat equity i was willing to put in over and above what they require. also the woman who told me to file bankruptcy was a volunteer with habitat. i later found out. she never told me she was or i wouldnt have listened to her.
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#10 Author of original report

re habitat

AUTHOR: Who - (U.S.A.)

first of all i WAS told to file bankruptcy! 2nd of all my bills were in no way a factor. after bankruptcy i re-affirmed with them and got all my cards re-enstated.

i never said i was looking for a handout. the house isnt free. i guess the l*****n couple they DID sell a house to needed it more than we did.(TRUE one of the 50 homes that year went to a l*****n couple, no kids)no kidding! a PR stunt on habitats part im sure. as far as "sweat equity" is concerned.

i would have given them 10 hours a week for 10 years if thats all it would have taken. just my opinion but maybe the kind folks at habitat should put all the names of the people who qualify into a big drum and pull names. at least that way its fair.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Mary, please don't raise your daughter to lie to get what she wants

AUTHOR: Juliet - (U.S.A.)

How is this, in any way, a morally responsible, helpful response from Mary?

To advise someone to 'act' desperate, with 'act' being the key word, evidently, because the person is NOT desperate, but wants what they want when they want it.

Mary's advice, in summary, seems to be screw someone else so you can get WHAT YOU WANT'.

So, 'act' desperate, if you aren't, and get yourself put ahead of TRULY DESPERATE people, so you can get what you want when you want, though you presently HAVE A HOME. Apartment isn't good enough? Wow, try working for a living for over 20 years and STILL residing in apartments, with homeownership never to be a likely future.

Mary advises people to write the CEO of Habitat for Humanity because they disagree with the decision making board on who gets selected. I really doubt ANY CEO would have time to read all the letters from clients/customers who are dissatisfied with ANY aspect of an organization's decisions, whether it's Walmart or Habitat for Humanity.

Is it because Anon is white that HER letter should stand out, and be immediately forwarded for personal attention by the CEO?

For EVERY decision made by a charitable organization, FOR SURE, there will be at least 100 people who disagree and feel they have been discriminated against. This is a waste of EVERYONE'S time and it is needlessly spent energy, unless there are real, verifiable instances of actual discrimination, regardless of the race of the person involved.

Mary doesn't mention how her 'friend' got a resolution to the issues the 'friend' had. What deception is Mary wishing to pull here? She can't even write an honest title?

Mary resolved her situation by taking care of herself, and ultimately getting married which put her in a more fortunate financial status.

Why is THAT a terrible resolution? Take care of yourself, and those you bring into the world. That's been the way of the world for 5000 years, after all.

And why does Anon attach such relevance to her status as a 'white american'? I am a white american, but I'm not asking for a free house, and I most certainly am not looking to relatives to leave me anything, ever.

Mary's 'advice' is lie, and through deception, cause other people who may be in far more desperate straits than you to be placed behind you for receiving assistance, so you can get what you want when you want it. Please don't teach your daughter this, Mary.

When a person is in desperate need, I am the first to offer all advice I can, and do whatever I can to help them find the resources to provide them safe shelter, food, and hopes for a brighter future. That's how I was raised, and what I believe every person should do for anyone who is in a less fortunate position than themselves.

You do not achieve good through evil means. Karma sucks, and it will come back to you when you have done someone else wrong so you can get what you want when you want it, without earning it or needing it or paying for it.
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#12 Consumer Comment

People with a greater need.

AUTHOR: Jodi - (U.S.A.)

Do you think it's possible, that the selection committee thought the woman with 5 children would have a harder time getting affordable housing, than a woman with 1 child?
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#13 Consumer Comment

Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses

AUTHOR: Clifford - (U.S.A.)

first of all, Habitat for Humanity does give houses away. They provide no interest of low interest loans on their houses. There is an extensive process that has nothing to do with race or religion. There is extensive counseling to make sure the applicant can make the payments, understands how to handle finances and many other requirements. that's why it's very difficult for me to believe anyone from Habitat told anyone to declare bankrupcy. Just doesn't seem believable.

Here is a quote from their web site.
==============================================
Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.

Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor sweat equity into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
===============================================
I am no expert on HFH but my daughter worked for them in Colorado Springs as a Vista Volunteer after she graduated from college.

One of their mottos is "A Hand Up, not a Hand Out"

A great worldwide organization but I'm certain that many people that apply and don't get in are disappointed. They keep trying though.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Agreed! Had a friend who had the same issue.

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

Hi, I agree with you, you were "Cheated" by all means, that wasn't fair that some others who got picked and you didn't. I think the reason is not only because of you being white but, also because you aren't showing how much of a need you are in like you aren't pounding on their door for a place to live and so forth. Are you currently on government programs? like food stamps, medicaid, medicare, section 8, low income housing-or at least on the waiting list for them?

I have found out from my personal experience that if you "play desprite-sp?" then some people out there will put you ahead of others. I personally have been trying to get housing here in Dallas, Texas and I have been on the list for over 6 years now and I was told that I will be waiting no longer than 2 years at the most.

Unfortunately though, I found out that the reason I keep getting bumped down is because I didn't have a child(ren) at that time, I was not married, divorced, nothing, I have some family to help me out at the time being; so they didn't think I was in that great of a need to be chosen back then now, going on 7 years since I did the applications and everything I just now recieved a letter in the mail saying my name as come to the top of the list and I have to come back in and update all my information and everything.

Now, I am in not of a need anymore after all that time waiting I somehow got my stuff together and figured out ways to make it so I don't have to rely on charity. I am now thankfully married to a wonderful man and we now have a beautiful baby girl together as well as about to move into our 1st home together although it is a rent house but, it's still our home.

Now, in your situation I would suggest you to write a certified letter to the CEO of Habitat of Humanity and explain to him/her your situation and how you feel about the process and how it was handled and that you feel like you are a good primary canadiate for recieving a home from them and you would do whatever it takes has you have done already (ie; filing bankruptcy as you were told too).

Clip out those pictures and mention those that you have noticed that have received houses from them that aren't of your race and you believe that it is not HUMANE of them to deny those that are unfortunate and willing to do whatever it takes to makes things good for both parties to be denied a home that was built for the better and good of the country in which you both live in.

If you have to tell them you will do even more investigations on this situation they put you in on how they are picking and chosing not by income and familair situations but by race in which is NOT wise on their part.

I am sorry you and your son are "barely" surviving but, it is the way the world is sadly runned these days. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that if they do not choose to help you then maybe there is other organizations out there that will...good luck and God bless!
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#15 Consumer Comment

I don't see where you have been cheated out of anything DUE to you

AUTHOR: Juliet - (U.S.A.)

What bothers me is that is SOUNDS like you filed bankruptcy with the ***reliance*** on getting a free home, BECAUSE of filing bankruptcy.

You wrote:
''the person i met with told me in order to qualify for consideration i would need to file bankruptcy (which im sure they will deny)and wait 1 year. so in august 1999 i filed chapter 7. waited out the year and applied in 2000 for a house.DENIED!''

It reads as though you had a plan in mind where if you filed bankruptcy in 1999, in 2000 you expected a guaranteed approval, more or less.

If you didn't NEED to file bankruptcy, and ONLY DID SO in order to qualify for a free home --- how is that fair?

For most people who file bankruptcy, it's not a choice whereby they will be rewarded with a free HOUSE once they have done so.

Not to mention the innumerable people who will work all their lives, raise a family, never default on a single bill or file bankruptcy, and still, never, ever have a house to call their own.

Does every single person you know of another race, with one child, have a free house via Habitat for Humanity? If so, then you might have a case to make, but I seriously doubt that is the case.

I agree that under circumstances as you noted about other people who do qualify - on the SURFACE, it's not fair. But you also do not know every facet of the other peoples lives, nor do you have any idea what went into the decision-making process.

I do not see how you were cheated at all. This is life, and having a child doesn't entitle to you anything more than anyone else. I have no children, so I doubt I'll ever get a free anything for NOT placing another person into the world needing food and shelter for 70-80 years to come.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Cheated?

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

You're right ... this in no way constitutes a rip off. But I also fail to see how you were "cheated". Perhaps you could clarify.

Keep in mind that Habitat for Humanity is a private, nonprofit organization. They have the right to grant or deny low-income houses to whoever they choose. They have a VERY extensive list of requirements in order to even qualify to be considered. These requirements include things like a certain number of hours of community service and volunteer work, being a good role model for young people, not having any run-ins with the law, and actively helping to build other Habitat homes for other people (aka, "sweat equity). It is designed to HELP people who are already making an effort but are not quite making it on their own -- it is NOT a handout.

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