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At Habitat for Humanity Australia, we provide shelter solutions for vulnerable groups and low-income families.

What we do in Australia

In Australia Habitat for Humanity has several programs to support low-income families and vulnerable groups access safe shelter. These programs including, building homes or shelters, shelter renovation through our Brush With Kindness volunteer program, disaster risk reduction and response such as our Bushfire Recovery and Resilience program. All our programs engage volunteers and over the past 30 years to help our partner families and programs. Habitat for Humanity Australia currently operates in NSW, QLD, VIC and SA. Over the years we have had to reduce our home building program to only operate in Victoria and South Australia. To date Habitat for Humanity Australia has built more than 160 homes in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland.

Brush with Kindness Program

We help disadvantaged families through the Brush with Kindness program. The Brush with Kindness program mobilises teams of volunteers to conduct landscaping and minor repairs to the exterior of homes of people who may be disadvantaged, disabled or socially isolated. It is a ‘backyard blitz’ style activity where teams between 10-15 can get out of the office and get their hands dirty!

The program also partners with other not-for-profits to help provide safe and decent shelter to disadvantaged groups. Through our Australian Program, we have helped over 1,000 people through Brush with Kindness activities and engaged with more than 10,000 volunteers from both the community and corporate sector.

Our Bushfire Recovery Program

Rebuilding and Restoring Hope for Aussie Families

Habitat for Humanity Australia has committed to providing recovery services to fire-affected families. A Disaster Recovery Team has been on the ground since the smoke cleared restoring hope to communities affected. We are on the ground in South Australia helping salvage and rebuild, to assist homeowners. Our team was there in the aftermath of the 2009 Black Saturday Victorian Fires, the 2013 NSW Blue Mountains Fires and the 2015 South Australian Sampson Flat Fires and with your support, will again be supporting those affected this year. For as long as it takes.

Home Ownership Program

How does it work?

Families partner with Habitat for Humanity in the construction of their homes. Each partner family receives an interest-free, 20-year loan based on 95%  of the market value of the completed home. Partner families contribute 500 hours of their own time in the planning and construction phases. This is called ‘sweat equity’ and is recognised in the 5%t discount on market value that we return to them. For example, if a home is valued at $300,000, the partner family will have accumulated effectively $15,000 in equity, from their own efforts, on the day they move in. As part of Habitat for Humanity’s pay it forward model, partner family loan repayments go towards building new homes for other families in our program.

Becoming a Habitat Partner Family

When a housing project has been approved by the local council and is almost ready to commence, a local public meeting is held to fully explain the application process of becoming a Habitat partner family. Typically, housing is located in regional areas, where the cost of land is more affordable.

Applications forms are available at this public meeting and families applying are assessed on the following criteria:

  • The level of ‘housing affordability stress’ they are experiencing.
  • Their ability to borrow funds to buy or build a home, through conventional financial instruments.
  • Their willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity in sharing in homeownership, until the loan is re-paid.
  • Their willingness and ability to contribute a minimum of 500 hours of their own time in contributing to the build process of their home – we call this ‘sweat equity’ and it may include basic skills and financial training.
  • After all applications have been reviewed, the family assessed as being in the greatest ‘need’ is selected.

Visit our State Partners’ pages to donate, and for information on current activities and homeownership opportunities.

Read our stories

Going beyond builds – Young volunteers share how they stay engaged amid a pandemic In a typical year we are so fortunate to have the support of our volunteers who would travel overseas to actively work on home construction. Of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to in-person activities overseas, and more recently […]

Meet Christina, she is a single mum to her three beautiful children. Her positive attitude towards life and infectious laugh defy the challenging life Christina’s family has had in recent years, which includes her own personal battle with cancer. Following a marriage breakdown, Christina ended up in another relationship that turned abusive. Christina fled this […]


Meet Tracey, one of our partner families. Tracey is a mother to 4 wonderful children. Tracey found herself facing challenging times as a single mother trying to keep a roof over her family’s head. She moved 8 times in 11 years and at times this was every 6 months. Tracey was constantly living in distress […]