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Sweat Equity Policy

One of the most vital elements of Habitat is the partnership between new homeowners and the local affiliate.  This is achieved through "sweat equity" which refers to the actual hands-on physical involvement of partner families.  Sweat equity is designed to meet three important goals:


  • Sweat Equity Builds Partnership.  This provides opportunities for interactions between partner families and Habitat volunteers.  They get to know each other by working side-by-side.


  • Sweat Equity Builds a Sense of Pride.  We offer a hand-up rather than a handout.  Habitat works with families to build their own homes and a brighter future.


  • Sweat Equity Builds Skills and Knowledge.   On the building site, partner families gain an understanding of the construction of their home and the maintenance issues they may face later.  The homeowner education series offers additional information as well.


Sweat Equity Requirements - Families selected for Habitat homes must be willing to commit hours of sweat equity to Fayette County Habitat for Humanity.  Families will be provided with a method for keeping track of hours. 


  • Requirements are as follows:

  1. Each head of household in the family must complete 300 hours of sweat equity. A minimum of 20 hours per month by each is required.

  2. Children 16-18 will be required to complete 50 hours of sweat equity as limited by Child Labor Laws.

  3. Children 19 and above, living in the home, will be required to complete 100 hours of sweat equity.

  4. Total family requirement will not exceed 800 hours.

  5. Families are to coordinate their work on their homes to ensure they earn the appropriate number of hours. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator to set-up time and ensure the work crew is available when you are.


  • Assistance with sweat equity


  1. The family must complete a minimum of 60% (180 hours of each 300 hours) of the required hours themselves.  Friends and family over the age of 18 and living outside the home may assist by contributing up to 40% (120 hours of each 300 hours) of the total sweat equity hours required.

  2. The family's own dependent children 5-13 years of age may contribute hours of work to be counted as half hours as limited by Child Labor Laws.  These children will participate in an Alternative Activities program rather than being present on the building site.



  • Timeframe for Sweat Equity


  1. Twenty-five hours of sweat equity must be completed before the home construction is begun.

  2. When the letter of acceptance is signed, the Partner Family will make a written plan for completing sweat equity hours. This written plan will be presented to the Family Mentor & Family Support Committee for review and acceptance. After a construction schedule for the home has been set, a monthly plan will be developed and presented to the Family Mentor & Family Support Committee for approval.

  3. Fifty percent of sweat equity hours must be completed when 50 percent of the construction has been completed, as indicated on the construction schedule to be established in the future.  Documented hours will be reviewed with the Partner Family monthly during construction to confirm that sweat equity hours are on track with the construction schedule.

  4. All sweat equity hours must be completed before occupancy.



  • Sweat equity opportunities other than the job site


  1. Attending workshops on budgeting, home maintenance and management, and conflict resolution are required prior to move-in

  2. Volunteering for Habitat projects

  3. Attending homeowner association meetings

  4. Participating in fund raising

  5. Food preparation

  6. Work-site cleanup, organizing tools, etc.

  7. Sending out thank you cards to sponsors and volunteers

  8. Taking families to speaking engagements to speak or to help

  9. Babysitting time while the adults are on the job site, up to 40% (120 hours of 300)

  10. Attending Home Depot or Lowe's or other home improvement classes

  11. Working on homes built by other affiliates, depending on distance

  12. Working with community or other nonprofit organizations

  13. Taking literacy classes (20% of hours, 60 hours of 300)

  14. A honor roll =10 hrs; A/B honor roll= 5 hr.- Total not to exceed 20 hrs.

  15. Volunteering at children's school or day care facility.

  16. Serving on Habitat committees

  17. Participating in Habitat events.

  18. Assisting with a Habitat construction activity.



  • Responsibility of the partner family


  1. Being cooperative and willing to learn on the work site.

  2. Showing appreciation to all those involved in all aspects of the project.

  3. Taking initiative by calling the Volunteer Coordinator each week to find out about plans for working.

  4. Contact the volunteer coordinator at least three days before to schedule work days for the week.

  5. Being on time for each activity selected for sweat equity hours.

  6. Working regularly toward completing sweat equity hours per the written plan.

  7. Attending homeowners' workshops to learn skills of responsible home ownership.

  8. Keeping record of non-construction sweat equity hours and reporting them as required.


  • Tracking sweat equity hours


  1. Refer to the sweat equity plan as devised by you and your Family Mentor.

  2. Coordinate your time on the site with the Volunteer Coordinator.

  3. A form will be used to track family and friend hours.

  4. The Habitat Construction Site supervisor present must sign the form verifying your hours of service.

  5. No hours will be credited toward sweat equity if missing the appropriate signature.

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