Fuller Center houses are not the ultra-fancy transformations you see on television renovation shows. They are simple, decent, safe and affordable for the family and volunteer-friendly during construction.
The houses are also not giveaways and are intended to help homeowners lift themselves out of poverty and create a safer, more stable future for their families. Partner families are chosen by local Fuller Center covenant partners after application and evaluation. Homeowners must be unable to obtain a conventional home loan or mortgage before we consider their application. They are required to put in about 350 hours of sweat equity toward a new home (some of which can be done by family members) including volunteering on their home, other Fuller Center projects and administrative tasks, attending mandatory homeownership classes or by doing volunteer work with approved area non-profits.
Fuller Center houses are generally between 900 square feet (two bedrooms and one bathroom) and 1,250 square feet (four bedrooms and one to two bathrooms). Guidelines are included for persons with disabilities to ensure that Fuller Center houses are accessible. The Fuller Center also recommends that, whenever possible, covenant partners install energy-efficient appliances and use energy-efficient building practices that will help reduce living costs for partner families.
Because The Fuller Center seeks to build communities, not just houses, care is taken to assure that the houses are attractive and – to the extent they remain affordable – distinctive. These things are done creatively, for example, by choosing welcoming paint colors and making shutters out of leftover wood.
Houses are built mostly by volunteer labor led by experienced house captains except for when professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, are required to meet local building codes and ensure the safety of the house.
Local construction committees use our general guidelines to build simple, decent houses for partner families that are suitable for the recipient and the neighborhood. Covenant partners are responsible for coming up with house plans, selecting families and raising funds to build homes.
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