Habitat for Humanity of the Indian Wells Valley
Ridgecrest, California

Sweat Equity

For each Partner Family selected, Sweat Equity time should:

  1. Provide meaningful interaction between families, the Habitat affiliates representatives and other volunteers as they work together to build houses.
  2. Develop skills and knowledge about building houses and learn about the maintenance issues they will face as homeowners.
  3. Begin the process of transitioning into home ownership through a variety of classes including those on financial stability, sale/purchase process, insurance requirements, cooking skills for a healthy family.
  4. Increase responsibility and commitment through active engagement in the work or tasks that need to be accomplished.

A Brief Summary of Sweat Equity Requirements

  1. Five hundred (500) hours of sweat equity is required for each homeowner family.
  2. Forty percent (200 hours) of the required sweat equity is to be completed before the construction/rehab begins.
  3. One hundred (100) percent of the required sweat equity is to be completed before occupancy.
  4. Volunteers (friends, relatives, co-workers, church family members) can complete 40% of the required sweat equity. An adult partner family member must be working at the job site at the same time volunteers are working in order for the hours to count for the Partner Family.
  5. Partner family members are those family members who sign the partnership agreement and their dependent children who are and will be living in the same household with the parents.

Some Sample Sweat Equity Opportunities

  1. Work on the construction site of the Partner Family home. This requires supervision by a designated affiliate board member or construction crew member.
  2. Work on the construction site of some other Partner Family's home. This also requires supervision by a designated affiliate board member or construction crew member.
  3. Depending on distance, Partner Families can work on homes being built by another affiliate. There must be prior agreement from both Affiliates.
  4. Babysitting may be done by older children of the Partner Family while parents are on the job site. Those hours count as family hours, but there are limitations on the hours. One hour credit is given for two hours of babysitting. If friends or other family members babysit, those hours are counted as volunteer hours with the same limitations. Volunteers who babysit cannot be paid for doing so.
  5. Attend workshops on such topics as budgeting, home maintenance, water-reducing landscaping (xeriscaping) etc. If the workshop is not given by the affiliate, prior approval must be obtained from the Family Support Committee.
  6. Volunteer work can be done for other non-profit organizations. Prior approval from the family support Committee must be obtained. There is a limit on the number of hours that can be obtained this way.
  7. Participate in speaking engagements as an HFH IWV representative. Prior approval from the family Support Committee must be obtained.
  8. Serve on Habitat committees, work in the Habitat office, homeowner association meetings, fundraisers, food preparation, clean-up at Habitat functions, etc
  9. College courses may be completed by the Partner Family while working on their sweat equity hours. Courses must be passed with a minimum of a "C" grade. Courses must be approved by the Family Support Committee before the class begins. Units must be in the pursuit of obtaining a degree or relevant personal development goals.
  10. Hours will be given for K-12 classes for children of the Partner Family, for core classes.
  11. Grades for both college and K-12 classes are as follows: an "A" will earn 3 hours, "B" will earn 2 hours, and "C" will earn 1 hour. P.E. classes will be counted only when they are required in the curriculum.
  12. Completion of a high school diploma or GED by an adult who was unable to finish high school will be counted.

Request a copy of the Sweat Equity Policy for more information. If you are selected as a partner family, you will receive a copy of the Policy.