Affiliate Committees

As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we depend on the work of various committees to operate. In order for the visible work of home construction to occur, many hours of work by volunteers serving on various committees has to take place.

Each committee is responsible for an essential part of the affiliate's activities. The committees are:

Development Committee
Experience in fund raising is not essential for membership on this committee, but enthusiasm and determination are. Members should believe in Habitat's ministry and be anxious to include others in the work. The committee should include members with a variety of skills who can develop and implement creative fund-raising ideas. Most people approach the subject of fund raising with attitudes ranging from trepidation to stark terror. However, presenting people with the opportunity to participate in a ministry which you believe in can be an enjoyable experience. Fund raising is crucial to a Habitat program because house construction is very capital intensive. People support an organization that uses donations wisely and in which they can be involved.
Family Selection Committee
The Family Selection Committee screens applicants, interviews prospective families, and recommends families to the board for approval for home ownership. The integrity of the Habitat affiliate depends upon a fair, objective, non-discriminatory family selection process. Because of the sensitive nature of the decisions made by this committee, assembling a group of people who are able to work well together is important, as is confidentiality. Everyone on the committee should be sensitive and relate well with people on a one-to-one basis. Committee members make home visits and should feel comfortable interviewing potential homeowners.
Church Affiliations Committee
Churches are strong supporters of Habitat's work and most affiliates begin by spreading the word about Habitat to local churches and church associations or ministerial alliances. Committee members will seek opportunities to give presentations at church services and church group meetings.
Public Relations Committee
Although most fund-raising activities involve public relations, public relations is more than just raising funds. An effective public relations plan benefits the entire Habitat program. The committee must develop a plan for what is to be accomplished and how. A list of people and groups with whom you want to communicate needs to be developed, as well as long- and short-term public relations goals. The public relations effort includes a speakers bureau consisting of people who can effectively tell the Habitat story in churches, at civic associations, or other organizations.
Family Partnership Committee
The Family Partnership Committee is an instrumental part of Habitat's goal to be a people-to-people partnership aimed at the development and empowerment of people and communities, not merely the construction of houses. An important part of Habitat's ministry is providing the family with the love and support they need. The committee welcomes families into the Habitat family and provides them with a mutual support system, educational opportunities, and a forum for discussions pertaining to Habitat home ownership. This committee is the primary liaison between the affiliate and the homeowner families and enables the affiliate to learn from Habitat homeowners and thus constantly improve its program to better serve the needs of the families. The committee provides support and nurture for each selected family by matching each partner family with a Family Partner. The Family Partner works with the homeowner family from the time they are selected through the time they move in and for one year after they are settled. An important part of the Family Partner's role is to help the family with new experiences of home ownership, such as dealing with property taxes, home insurance, and home maintenance, as well as coping with attention from the media.
Site Selection Committee
The Site Selection Committee needs members with experience in real estate and construction or prior involvement in low-income housing. The process of selecting a site must follow a discussion with the Building Committee to determine the type of house or project being planned. Habitat affiliates often obtain donated property. The committee must examine potential donations to be sure that there are no conditions which would place the homeowners or volunteers at risk.
Construction Committee
Building is a complicated process and Habitat's goals make it more complicated. To the normal problems in construction of scheduling, quality control and weather, Habitat adds unskilled families and volunteers and minimal capital. The Construction Committee works with the Site Selection Committee to determine the type of construction that best fits both community needs and Habitat goals. The committee will develop and implement a construction plan. Because Habitat is more than just a non-profit construction company, the chairperson of the Building/Construction Committee must support the organization's goals. A good chairperson solicits people with the skills needed to build a balanced Habitat team, delegate responsibilities, and provide clear information to the board for its consideration. Habitat seeks to involve the homeowners fully in its ministry especially as their home is being built. Interacting with the family who will own the home to obtain their input on such issues as the color of paint or the style of cabinets is important. Working with the homeowners also includes facilitating positive interaction among the homeowners and other volunteers at the work site.
Volunteer Recruitment Committee
The Volunteer Recruitment Committee recruits volunteers for all facets of the affiliate's activities. The committee also is responsible for communicating with other committees about the availability of volunteers and the skills they have offered, as well as to support the volunteers as they do their work.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall program of the affiliate, and all the committees report to it. Board members serve two-year terms; the board meets bi-monthly. In the months that the full Board of Directors does not meet, the Executive Committee meets to carry on the work of the affiliate. The seven committee members, who also serve on the Board of Directors, also handle corporate affairs that arise between regular board meetings.
Equal Opportunity Housing We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and suggest an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.