History of Houston Habitat for Humanity

Incorporated in 1987 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, Houston Habitat for Humanity dedicated its first home in 1988. To date, more than 995 Houston Habitat homes have been built housing over 3980 people, from infants to the elderly. Houston Habitat builds affordable energy-efficient homes and through its neighborhood revitalization initiatives, repairs existing older homes for low income families. Houston Habitat complies with the Federal Fair Housing Act in the marketing, sale, and purchasing of properties. All applicants receive consideration for home ownership without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, questioning, family or marital status. As the non-profit has grown, support services added include Family Services, Mortgage Services, Volunteer Services and the ReStore. The program annually builds 30-50 new homes, processes 30-50 new mortgages, and repairs 30-50 older homes. Houston Habitat relies on donor support and does not receive funds from Habitat International or United Way. For 27 years, the Houston Habitat mission has basically remained the same, to provide decent housing for low to moderate income families so they might thrive and have hope for a better future.

Historical Highlights

  • 2016

    Houston Habitat is rated by Charity Navigator as number one in effectiveness of Houston charities (as reported by the Houston Chronicle); Habitat for Humanity is named the J.D. Power nonprofit brand of the year for the second year in a row.
  • 2015-2016

    Houston Habitat helped (and continues to help) residents impacted by Houston’s Memorial Day and Tax Day floods by doing muck outs, providing damage assessments and providing repairs of flood damaged homes for vulnerable populations.
  • 2015

    Houston Habitat celebrated the building of its 1000th house by hosting Clive Rainey, Habitat International’s first volunteer and presenting an affordable housing symposium in collaboration with the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department. Habitat for Humanity is named by J.D. Power as the nonprofit brand of the year.
  • 2013-2014

    Houston Habitat began construction in Harrel Park, a 111 new home community developed by Houston Habitat from raw land.
  • 2012

    Houston Habitat celebrated its 25th anniversary with an inaugural gala.
  • 2011

    Houston Habitat launched the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative for home repair, and built 14 homes through a $1.4 million NSP partnership with HUD and the City of Houston.
  • 2010

    Houston Habitat built its first “green inside and out” homes, which included solar panels, solar hot water heaters, recycled content cabinetry and non-toxic paint.
  • 2009

    Houston Habitat unveiled its all brick, with an attached garage home model with the opening of Milby Park.
  • 2008

    Houston Habitat built and closed 94 homes serving approximately 282 residents and agreed to purchase 117 acres of raw land on Tidwell Road for which it was awarded a $1,000,000 matching grant from Houston Endowment.
  • 2006

    With funding from Oprah Winfrey, Houston Habitat proved its ability to serve in times of disaster by providing affordable, permanent housing opportunities for a record 119 families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, making Houston Habitat the second highest producing of 1,600 Habitat affiliates.
  • 2005-2006

    Houston Habitat joined with Habitat International in Operation Home Delivery by building and shipping 11 frames for homes to hurricane-ravaged communities in the Gulf Coast. These projects included working with Major League Baseball during the World Series, Grambling and Southern Universities during the relocated Bayou Classic and the National Basketball Association during the All Star Game.
  • 2005

    Houston Habitat partnered with local builders to build 9 homes in one week as part of the “Builders Blitz,” a national Habitat project in which more than 700 homes were built throughout the United States.
  • 2004

    With the sanction of the National Football League, Houston Habitat conceived SuperBUILD XXXVIII as a legacy project for Super Bowl XXXVIII, leading donors and volunteers in the construction of a symbolic 38 homes in 38 days leading up to the 2004 Super Bowl hosted in Houston, Texas. Houston Habitat “passed the hammer” to Jacksonville for SuperBUILD XXXIX in conjunction with Super Bowl XXXIX.
  • 2003

    Houston Habitat opened the Houston Habitat ReStore, a non-profit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, appliances, flooring, cabinetry and more to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. Fulfilling its goals to provide revenue to Houston Habitat and to promote recycling, the Houston Habitat ReStore has provided almost $4 million in revenue to Houston Habitat, which has been reinvested in affordable home building and repair and has kept tons of material out of landfills.
  • 2002

    Houston Habitat built 56 homes in the Wood Glen Subdivision, giving priority to applicants who were suffering from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Allison.
  • 1998

    Houston Habitat became the first U.S. Habitat International affiliate to build 100 homes in one week by successfully completing the Jimmy Carter Works Project.
  • 1996

    Houston Habitat received its first Energy Star Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for demonstrating a commitment to energy efficiency and affordability by achieving Energy Star certification in all of its houses. Houston Habitat has since received the EPA’s Sustained Partner Award, having received Energy Star awards again in 1999, 2007- 2011 and 2013-2016.
  • 1987

    Houston Habitat for Humanity founded