Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the top ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes recorded, Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season. Rita formed near The Bahamas from a tropical wave on September 18, 2005 that developed off the coast of West Africa, it moved westward, after passing through the Florida Straits, Rita entered an environment of abnormally warm waters. Moving west-northwest, it intensified to reach peak winds of 180 mph, achieving Category 5 status on September 21st. However, it weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in Johnson's Bayou, between Sabine Pass and Holly Beach, with winds of 115 mph. Weakening over land, Rita degenerated into a large low-pressure area over the lower Mississippi Valley by September 26th. In Louisiana, Rita's storm surge inundated low-lying communities along the entire coast, worsening effects caused by Hurricane Katrina less than a month prior, such as topping the hurriedly-repaired Katrina-damaged levees at New Orleans.
Parishes in Southwest Louisiana and counties in Southeast Texas where Rita made landfall suffered from severe to catastrophic flooding and wind damage. According to an October 25, 2005 Disaster Center report, 4,526 single-family dwellings were destroyed in Orange and Jefferson counties located in Southeast Texas. Major damage was sustained by 14,256 additional single-family dwellings, another 26,211 single-family dwellings received minor damage. Mobile homes and apartments sustained significant damage or total destruction. In all, nine Texas counties and five Louisiana Parishes were declared disaster areas after the storm. Electric service was disrupted in some areas of both Louisiana for several weeks. Texas reported the most deaths from the hurricane, where 113 deaths were reported, 107 of which were associated with the evacuation of the Houston metropolitan area. Moderate to severe damage was reported across the lower Mississippi Valley. Rainfall from the storm and its associated remnants extended from Louisiana to Michigan.
Rainfall peaked at 16.00 in in Central Louisiana. Several tornadoes were associated with the hurricane and its subsequent remnants. Throughout the path of Rita, damage totaled about $18.5 billion. As many as 120 deaths in four U. S. states were directly related to the hurricane. On September 7, 2005, a tropical wave emerged off the west coast of Africa and moved westward into the Atlantic Ocean. Failing to produce organized, deep atmospheric convection, the disturbance was not monitored by the National Hurricane Center for tropical cyclogenesis. Convection associated with the system increased late on September 13 before dissipating shortly thereafter. At the same time, a remnant surface trough had developed from a dissipating stationary front and began to drift westward north of the Lesser Antilles. Meanwhile, the tropical wave became better organized and was first noted in the NHC's Tropical Weather Outlooks on September 15 while northeast of Puerto Rico; the wave merged with the surface trough two days triggering an increase in convective activity and organization.
A subsequent decrease in wind shear enabled for additional organization, at 0000 UTC on September 18, the NHC estimated that the storm system had organized enough to be classified as a tropical depression, the eighteenth disturbance during the hurricane season to do so. At the time, the disturbance, classified as Tropical Depression Eighteen, was 80 mi east of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos and had developed banding features. In favorable conditions for tropical development, the depression organized, attained tropical storm strength at 1800 UTC that day based on data from reconnaissance flights and nearby ships and weather buoys; as a result, the tropical storm was named Rita. However, an increase in moderate southerly vertical wind shear as the result of a nearby upper-level low subdued continued intensification and displaced convective activity to the north of Rita's center of circulation. Once the upper-level low weakened, Rita's center of circulation reformed to the north, compensating for the disorganization that resulted from the wind shear.
The tropical storm resumed its previous strengthening trend as it was steered westward across The Bahamas along the south periphery of a ridge. Upon entering the Straits of Florida on September 20, Rita strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane by 1200 UTC, while maintaining a minimum barometric pressure of 985 mbar. Six hours Rita intensified further into Category 2 before subsequently passing 45 mi south of Key West, Florida. Aided by a favorable outflow pattern and anomalously warm sea surface temperatures, the trend of rapid deepening continued, Rita reached Category 3 status upon entering the Gulf of Mexico by 0600 UTC on September 21, making it a major hurricane. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, Rita passed over the warm Loop Current during the midday hours of September 21, enabling continued strengthening; as a result, the hurricane's wind field expanded and the storm's barometric pressure fell. By 1800 UTC that day, Rita attained Category 5 hurricane intensity, the highest category on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale.
Favorable conditions allowed for additional development, at 0300 UTC on September 22, Rita reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of
A music festival is a community event oriented towards live performances of singing and instrument playing, presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality, or locality of musicians, or holiday. Some festivals are focused on women’s music, they are held outdoors, with tents or roofed temporary stages for the performers. Music festivals host other attractions such as food and merchandise vending, crafts, performance art, social or cultural activities. At music festivals associated with charitable causes, there may be information about social or political issues. Many festivals are repeat at some other interval. Some, including many rock festivals, are held only once; some festivals are organized as for-profit concerts and others are benefits for a specific charitable cause. Another type of music festival is the educative type, organized annually in local communities, regionally, or nationally, for the benefit of amateur musicians of all ages and grades of achievement; the Pythian Games at Delphi included musical performances, may be one of the earliest festivals known.
During the Middle Ages, festivals were held as competitions. Another type of music festival is the music education type organized annually in local communities, regionally, or nationally, for the benefit of amateur musicians of all ages and grades of achievement. Entrants perform prepared pieces or songs in front of an audience which includes competitors and friends, members of the community, along with one or more adjudicators or judges; these adjudicators, who may be music teachers, professors, or professional performers, provide verbal and written feedback to each performer or group. The adjudicator may be someone whom they might never meet in any other way, as is the case when an adjudicator from another city is brought in to judge, they usually receive a certificate, classified according to merit or ranking, some may win trophies or scholarships. The competitive element is played down, however, as the important aspect is that participants can learn from one another; such festivals aim to provide a friendly and supportive platform for musicians to share in the excitement of making music.
For many, they provide a bridge from examinations to performing confidently in public. Milwaukee, Wisconsin's 11-day event, promotes itself as "The World's Largest Music Festival", a title certified by the Guinness World Records and has been held since 1999. Operating annually since 1968, the festival attracts between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people each year, hosts over 800 musical acts; the Woodstock Festival in 1969 drew nearly 500,000 attendees, the Polish spin-off Przystanek Woodstock in 2014 drew 750,000 thus becoming the largest open air annual festival in Europe and the second largest in the world. In comparison, the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, attracts about 135,000 spectators each year. Glastonbury Festival has a capacity of about 275,000 spectators, but has "fallow years" every five years, so it is the biggest non-annual greenfield festival in the world; the oldest annual dedicated pop music festival in the world is Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, though in other genres, there are much older ones: the Three Choirs Festival in the UK has run annually since 1719.
The Queensland Music Festival, established in 1999 and headquartered in Brisbane Australia, is the largest music festival by land mass, as a state-wide music biennial music festival, over a three week period during July. Upcoming music festival Lists of music festivals in: Australia Belgium Canada Caribbean Central America Cyprus Denmark Finland Germany Greece Israel Italy The Netherlands New Zealand Poland Romania South Korea Singapore United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United StatesLists of music festivals by genre: List of jazz festivals List of metal festivals List of electronic music festivals List of reggae festivals
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew on the genres of blues and blues, from country music. Rock music drew on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar as part of a rock group with electric bass and one or more singers. Rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become diverse. Like pop music, lyrics stress romantic love but address a wide variety of other themes that are social or political. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, jazz-rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene.
New genres that emerged included progressive rock. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and alternative rock. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals at the beginning of the 2000s. Rock music has embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. 1970s punk culture spawned the goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race and drug use, is seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.
The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists; the sound of an electric guitar in rock music is supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments keyboards such as the piano, the Hammond organ, the synthesizer; the basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic blues band instrumentation. A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock group. Furthermore, it consists of between three and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.
Melodies originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel perfect fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s and from the mid 1960s onwards, rock music used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock; because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns, life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music, rhythm and blues.
Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more noise." The predominance of white and middle class musicians in rock music has been noted, rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young and male audience. As a result, it has been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from wh
The Compact Cassette, Compact Audio Cassette or Musicassette commonly called the cassette tape or tape or cassette, is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. It was developed by Philips in Hasselt and released in 1962. Compact cassettes come in two forms, either containing content as a prerecorded cassette, or as a recordable "blank" cassette. Both forms are reversible by the user; the compact cassette technology was designed for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and Reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications. Its uses ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers; the first cassette player designed for use in car dashboards was introduced in 1968. Between the early 1970s and the early 2000s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music, first alongside the LP record and the compact disc.
Compact Cassettes contain two miniature spools, between which the magnetically coated, polyester-type plastic film is passed and wound. These spools and their attendant parts are held inside a protective plastic shell, 4 by 2.5 by 0.5 inches at its largest dimensions. The tape itself was referred to as "eighth-inch" tape 1⁄8 inches wide, but it was larger: 0.15 inches. Two stereo pairs of tracks or two monaural audio tracks are available on the tape; this reversal is achieved either by flipping the cassette, or by the reversal of tape movement when the mechanism detects that the tape has come to an end. In 1935, decades before the introduction of the Compact Cassette, AEG released the first reel-to-reel tape recorder, with the commercial name "Magnetophon", it was based on the invention of the magnetic tape by Fritz Pfleumer, which used similar technology but with open reels. These instruments were expensive and difficult to use and were therefore used by professionals in radio stations and recording studios.
In 1958, following four years of development, RCA Victor introduced the stereo, quarter-inch, reel-to-reel RCA tape cartridge. However, it was a large cassette, offered few pre-recorded tapes. Despite the multiple versions, it failed. Consumer use of magnetic tape machines took off in the early 1960s, after playback machines reached a comfortable, user-friendly design; this was aided by the introduction of transistors which replaced the bulky and costly vacuum tubes of earlier designs. Reel-to-reel tape became more suitable to household use, but still remained an esoteric product. WIRAG, the Vienna division of Philips developed a cartridge, described as single-hole cassette, adapted from its German described name Einloch-Kassette. Tape and tape speed were identical with the Compact Cassette. Grundig came up with the DC-International derived from blue prints of the Compact Cassette in 1965, but failed on the demand of distributing companies. In 1962, Philips invented the Compact Cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe on 30 August 1963 at the Berlin Radio Show, in the United States in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette.
The team at Philips was led by Lou Ottens in Hasselt, Belgium."Philips was competing with Telefunken and Grundig in a race to establish its cassette tape as the worldwide standard, it wanted support from Japanese electronics manufacturers." However, the Philips' Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips' decision to license the format free of charge. Philips released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 recorder/player in the US in November 1964. By 1966 over 250,000 recorders had been sold in the US alone and Japan soon became the major source of recorders. By 1968, 85 manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million players. By the end of the 1960s, the cassette business was worth an estimated 150 million dollars. In the early years sound quality was mediocre, but it improved by the early 1970s when it caught up with the quality of 8-track tape and kept improving; the Compact Cassette went on to become a popular alternative to the 12-inch vinyl LP during the late 1970s. The mass production of "blank" Compact Cassettes began in 1964 in Germany.
Prerecorded music cassettes were launched in Europe in late 1965. The Mercury Record Company, a US affiliate of Philips, introduced M. C. to the US in July 1966. The initial offering consisted of 49 titles. However, the system had been designed for dictation and portable use, with the audio quality of early players not well suited for music; some early models had an unreliable mechanical design. In 1971, the Advent Corporation introduced their Model 201 tape deck that combined Dolby type B noise reduction and chromium oxide tape, with a commercial-grade tape transport mechanism supplied by the Wollensak camera division of 3M Corporation; this resulted in the format being taken more for musical use, started the era of high fidelity cassettes and players. Although the birth and growth of the cassette began in the 1960s, its cultural moment took place during the 1970s and 1980s; the cassette's popularity grew
An extended play record referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well. Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post said, "EPs—originally extended-play'single' releases that are shorter than traditional albums—have long been popular with punk and indie bands." In the United Kingdom, the Official Chart Company defines a boundary between EP and album classification at 25 minutes of maximum length and no more than four tracks. EPs were released in various sizes in different eras; the earliest multi-track records, issued around 1919 by Grey Gull Records, were vertically cut 78 rpm discs known as "2-in-1" records. These had finer than usual grooves, like Edison Disc Records.
By 1949, when the 45 rpm single and 331⁄3 rpm LP were competing formats, seven-inch 45 rpm singles had a maximum playing time of only about four minutes per side. As an attempt to compete with the LP introduced in 1948 by rival Columbia, RCA Victor introduced "Extended Play" 45s during 1952, their narrower grooves, achieved by lowering the cutting levels and sound compression optionally, enabled them to hold up to 7.5 minutes per side—but still be played by a standard 45 rpm phonograph. These were 10-inch LPs split onto two seven-inch EPs or 12-inch LPs split onto three seven-inch EPs, either sold separately or together in gatefold covers; this practice became much less common with the advent of triple-speed-available phonographs. Some classical music albums released at the beginning of the LP era were distributed as EP albums—notably, the seven operas that Arturo Toscanini conducted on radio between 1944 and 1954; these opera EPs broadcast on the NBC Radio network and manufactured by RCA, which owned the NBC network were made available both in 45 rpm and 331⁄3 rpm.
In the 1990s, they began appearing on compact discs. RCA had success in the format with their top money earner, Elvis Presley, issuing 28 Elvis EPs between 1956 and 1967, many of which topped the separate Billboard EP chart during its brief existence. During the 1950s, RCA published several EP albums of Walt Disney movies, containing both the story and the songs; these featured the original casts of actors and actresses. Each album contained two seven-inch records, plus a illustrated booklet containing the text of the recording so that children could follow along by reading; some of the titles included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and what was a recent release, the movie version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, presented in 1954. The recording and publishing of 20,000 was unusual: it did not employ the movie's cast, years a 12 in 33⅓ rpm album, with a nearly identical script, but another different cast, was sold by Disneyland Records in conjunction with the re-release of the movie in 1963.
Because of the popularity of 7" and other formats, SP records became less popular and the production of SPs in Japan was suspended in 1963. In the 1950s and 1960s, EPs were compilations of singles or album samplers and were played at 45 rpm on seven-inch discs, with two songs on each side. Other than those published by RCA, EPs were uncommon in the United States and Canada, but they were sold in the United Kingdom, in some other European countries, during the 1950s and 1960s. Record Retailer printed the first EP chart in 1960; the New Musical Express, Melody Maker and Music Echo and the Record Mirror continued to list EPs on their respective singles charts. The Beatles' Twist and Shout outsold most singles for some weeks in 1963; when the BBC and Record Retailer commissioned the British Market Research Bureau to compile a chart it was restricted to singles and EPs disappeared from the listings. In the Philippines, seven-inch EPs marketed as "mini-LPs" were introduced in 1970, with tracks selected from an album and packaging resembling the album they were taken from.
This mini-LP format became popular in America in the early 1970s for promotional releases, for use in jukeboxes. Stevie Wonder included a bonus four-song EP with his double LP Songs in the Key of Life in 1976. During the 1970s and 1980s, there was less standardization and EPs were made on seven-inch, 10-inch or 12-inch discs running either 331⁄3 or 45 rpm; some novelty EPs used odd shapes and colors, a few of them were picture discs. Alice in Chains was the first band to have an EP reach number one on the Billboard album chart, its EP, Jar of Flies, was released on January 25, 1994. In 2004, Linkin Park and Jay-Z's collaboration EP, Collision Course, was the next to reach the number one spot after Alice in Chains. In 2010, the cast of the television series Glee became the first artist to have two EPs reach number one, with Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna on the week of May 8, 2010, Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals on the week of June 26, 2010. In 2010, Warner Bros. Records revived the format with their "Six-Pak" offering of six songs on a compact disc.
The first EPs were seven-inch vinyl records with more tracks than a normal single. Although they shared size and speed with singles, they were a recognizably different format than the seven-inch single. Alth
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying". Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an tense vocal sound; the style occasionally uses improvisational additions and auxiliary sounds. Soul music reflected the African-American identity and it stressed the importance of an African-American culture.
The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music, which boasted pride in being black. Soul music dominated the U. S. R&B chart in the 1960s, many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U. S. Britain and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had begun to splinter; some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, in some cases more politically conscious varieties. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres, leading to psychedelic soul; the United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music; the key subgenres of soul include a rhythmic music influenced by gospel. Soul music has its roots in traditional African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues and as the hybridization of their respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation – that began in the 1950s.
The term "soul" had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States. According to musicologist Barry Hansen,Though this hybrid produced a clutch of hits in the R&B market in the early 1950s, only the most adventurous white fans felt its impact at the time. According to AllMusic, "oul music was the result of the urbanization and commercialization of rhythm and blues in the'60s." The phrase "soul music" itself, referring to gospel-style music with secular lyrics, was first attested in 1961. The term "soul" in African-American parlance has connotations of African-American culture. Gospel groups in the 1940s and'50s used the term as part of their names; the jazz style that originated from gospel became known as soul jazz. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from both gospel and soul jazz in African-American popular music during the 1960s, soul music functioned as an umbrella term for the African-American popular music at the time.
Important innovators whose recordings in the 1950s contributed to the emergence of soul music included Clyde McPhatter, Hank Ballard, Etta James. Ray Charles is cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman". Singer Bobby Womack said, "Ray was the genius, he turned the world onto soul music." Charles was open in acknowledging the influence of Pilgrim Travelers vocalist Jesse Whitaker on his singing style. Little Richard, who inspired Otis Redding, James Brown both were influential. Brown was nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul Music", Richard proclaimed himself as the "King of Rockin' and Rollin', Rhythm and Blues Soulin'", because his music embodied elements of all three, since he inspired artists in all three genres. Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are acknowledged as soul forefathers. Cooke became popular as the lead singer of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers, before controversially moving into secular music, his recording of "You Send Me" in 1957 launched a successful pop music career.
Furthermore, his 1962 recording of "Bring It On Home To Me" has been described as "perhaps the first record to define the soul experience". Jackie Wilson, a contemporary of both Cooke and James Brown achieved crossover success with his 1957 hit "Reet Petite", he was influential for his dramatic delivery and performances. Writer Peter Guralnick is among those to identify Solomon Burke as a key figure in the emergence of soul music, Atlantic Records as the key record label. Burke's early 1960s songs, including "Cry to Me", "Just Out of Reach" and "Down in the Valley" are considered classics of the genre. Guralnick wrote: "Soul started, in a sense, with the 1961 success of Solomon Burke's "Just Out Of Reach". Ray Charles, of course, had enjoyed enormous success, as had James Brown and Sam Cooke — in a pop vein. E
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International referred to as Habitat for Humanity or Habitat, is an international, non-governmental, nonprofit organization, founded in 1976 by Linda and Millard Fuller. Habitat has been devoted to building "simple and affordable" housing, a self-described "Christian housing ministry," and has addressed the issues of poverty housing all over the world; the international operational headquarters are located in Americus, United States, with the administrative headquarters located in Atlanta. There are five area offices located around the world: Canada. Community-level Habitat offices act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. In the United States, these local offices are called Habitat affiliates; each affiliate and national office is nonprofit organization. Affiliates and national offices coordinate all aspects of Habitat home building in their local area, including fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction, mortgage servicing.
The mission statement of Habitat for Humanity is "Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes and hope". Homes are built using volunteer labor and Habitat makes no profit on the sales. In some locations outside the United States, Habitat for Humanity charges interest to protect against inflation; this policy has been in place since 1986. Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve more than 800,000 homes since its founding in 1976, making Habitat the largest not-for-profit builder in the world. Habitat for Humanity traces its origins to the time Linda and Millard Fuller spent at Koinonia Farm in 1965; the couple had a successful business in Montgomery, Alabama before they started a new life of Christian service. According to the official website, The affiliate's family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan.
Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families. There are several checks and balances in place to protect both Habitat and the potential homeowner: Habitat for Humanity performs an extensive background check on potential homeowners, including character references, employer interviews, audit of finances; the applicants are required to sign release forms authorizing Habitat for Humanity to perform this background check. This ensures that Habitat's risk is reasonable when selling a home and that the applicant family is in a suitable financial position to take on the responsibility of a mortgage. There are a First and a Second Mortgage; the Second Mortgage is put in place to protect any equity, left, not captured in the first mortgage. The homeowners pay down the first mortgage, after a stated period of time of living in the same home, the Second Mortgage is forgiven. However, The Right of First Refusal stays in force.
Homeowners are expected to put 500 hours of "sweat equity" into their own or other project homes, although this amount may vary by location, the number of wage-earning adults in each family, the recipients' health issues. This sweat equity acts as the down payment on the home; every hour spent earning this sweat equity must be approved and signed off on by an official Habitat for Humanity representative. Sweat equity has no monetary value and cannot be'refunded'. Once construction on the home is finished and the sweat equity is completed in full, the homeowner purchases the home with a 0% to 2% interest mortgage. With monthly payments that do not exceed 30% of the household's monthly income. Mortgage payments from homeowners are deposited into a locally administered "Fund for Humanity", the proceeds of which go toward future construction. In an effort to discourage predatory lenders from targeting Habitat homeowner families, mortgage agreements require the Habitat for Humanity affiliate the right of first refusal.
Until the mortgage is paid in full, a Habitat home has no equity and can only be sold back to Habitat for Humanity. Should a homeowner family decide to sell their home during the period of their mortgage, the affiliate will buy it back at market value. Affiliates will have a shared appreciation model that will allow the affiliate to recapture a portion of the equity in the home depending on the time the family lived in the home and paid on the mortgage; the no interest mortgage payments permit a family the freedom to manage their finances more the end goal being to provide a'hand up' and not a'hand out' as it were. In some locations, attendance at money management courses is mandatory for potential homeowners. Habitat relies on volunteer labor in order to construct simple and affordable homes with its partner families, as well as to build community and civil society in the areas in which it works. Many churches and other houses of worship sponsor houses and provide a large amount of the volunteers from their congregations.
Some corporations and businesses that value good corporate citizenship provide financial support to the projects