Trident Habitat for Humanity, Inc. (Trident Habitat) is a regional support organization that represents, serves and raises funds for all five Habitat affiliates of greater Charleston, S.C. Trident Habitat was formed to extend the reach and the impact of the affiliates, who collaboratively seek to raise awareness and additional funds to provide access to affordable housing to a larger number of Low county residents at a time when the need is particularly high. Trident Habitat acts as a “vessel” for donations from organizations and individuals that want to ensure that the entire Tri-County area is reached and impacted by their donation, be it from an area-wide corporate or grant-making organization, or an individual.
Offering a comprehensive approach, Trident Habitat affiliates area non-denominational, Christian based,one-stop resources offering low-wealth families a direct path to decent, permanent and affordable housing. Simply put, Trident Habitat affiliates help a significant portion of the population who can’t qualify for conventional financing. Trident Habitat affiliates share services, knowledge and experience, working together to empower people with limited resources to reach their dream of home-ownership. As a result, they are working to address the on-going need for affordable housing in the South Carolina counties of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of each Trident Habitat affiliate. From students to corporate executives to retirees, volunteers raise funds, build homes, donate time at the ReStore locations, and offer expertise and counsel on financial, real estate, legal,and more through service on each affiliate’s Board of Directors and committees.
As affordable housing lenders, the Trident Habitat affiliates provide no-interest mortgages to qualified buyers in the Tri-County area. Home buyers become partners in “sweat equity” by working at the ReStore locations, volunteering in the office(s) and working on home construction-their own and others. Each Trident Habitat affiliate also requires homeowners to become knowledgeable consumers by attending financial and home maintenance courses taught by certified counselors. Homeowners invest between 350 – 500 hours per family of “sweat equity”.
Families who are accepted as future Habitat homeowners realize a greater quality of life with the added security, safety and comfort of a roof over their heads. They take pride in their home, work and communities, as evidenced through numerous testimonials and case studies. Children in the homes demonstrate improved attendance, grades and graduation rates as a result of the stability and security of having a safe and comfortable place to call home. The homes are attractive, energy-efficient, and valued at between $110-180,000. In addition to a modest down payment and monthly mortgage payments, these affordable starter homes are sold to “partner families” at no profit and financed with no interest loans. Their monthly mortgage payments are then used to build more Habitat homes.
Candidates for homes are those living in situations considered substandard, overcrowded, or unsafe housing and/or are paying more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. They must meet certain financial stability and income guidelines to be able to afford the manageable monthly mortgage payment and qualify through the residential requirements for the respective affiliates. The Trident Habitat affiliates conduct all aspects of their programs from qualification of families to building the homes and finally the closing and servicing of mortgages. The Habitat mission is a hand-up, not a hand-out, and since 1978 the Trident Habitat affiliates have partnered in helping a combined 817 families to purchase affordable homes so that they might realize their dreams of home ownership and the many benefits that in turn follow.