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Habitat for Humanity International is a grass-roots movement. Habitat's work is accomplished by affiliates -- independent, locally-run, non-profit volunteer groups. Each affiliate is run by a board of directors and co-ordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its area. The affiliate selects prospective partner families and suitable building sites. It organizes fund-raising and donations of materials; house construction using volunteers and, where appropriate, paid specialist construction workers; as well as mortgage repayments. There are 132 affiliates in the Asia-Pacific region and 2,291 worldwide. The work of affiliates in a country is co-ordinated and supported by a national office, staffed by experts in construction technology, financial management, and resource development and fund-raising. National offices are legally separate entities managed by volunteer boards. A national board operates in a covenant relationship with HFHI and with each Habitat affiliate it supports. As it takes time for affiliates to become fully operational, a Habitat national office often acts as the driving force in a new country. Activities are supported from HFHI donations until affiliates get “Save and Build” and other programs off the ground. Habitat is supporting new operations in Afghanistan, and Cambodia amongst others. Established affiliates are encouraged to tithe part of their income to support Habitat programs in other countries. Habitat New Zealand, for example, encourages affiliates to build a “House for a House”: for every house built in New Zealand, a house is built elsewhere in the world.

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