A Habitat house is a hand up, not a hand out. Houses are sold the partner families at no interest and no profit. However, each family is required to provide “sweat equity”. “Sweat equity” is the time participants invest in earning the right to purchase their own homes. It refers to the actual hands on involvement of the prospective homeowners in the work of building their house and helping in the construction of other Habitat houses. It is how prospective homeowners demonstrate their willingness to partner with the Habitat community and invest equity into their own homes. Homeowners invest time and labor into the homebuilding process, actually investing sweat through the construction tasks involved in building their own home. The involvement and investment provides the family with the basic knowledge of their home and pride in it.
Following approval of a Homeowner Program Application, the future homeowner must complete 500 sweat equity hours before being able to purchase their home. Habitat for Humanity of Guam requires 250 hours must be completed towards work on their own home and the other 250 hours will be earned on other family’s homes or on other Habitat activities.