a downpayment in sweat equity
Habitat Provides a Hand Up Not a Hand Out.
Habitat offers an unparalleled opportunity to help families with low income attain homeownership. We encourage you to complete the homeownership qualification form and allow our staff to determine whether you qualify. For families who qualify, but have credit or other issues that will prevent them from being successful, our family services staff can work with you on credit and other areas to assist you in meeting eligibility requirements for the homeownership program.
If you meet the requirements to qualify, the key to your success is self-discipline and the willingness to do the work required to partner with Habitat to attain homeownership.
Qualifying for a Home
To qualify for a Habitat home, an individual or family must:
- Live and/or working in the Greater Florence area for at least one year
- Live below the poverty level (earning 30-60% of the regional area median income)
- If employed, be employed at least one year or more on your current job.
- If unemployed but receiving other sources of income, two consecutive years of verifiable income documentation is required.
- Have a definite housing need: be living in substandard or crowded conditions or paying excessive rent in relation to income
- Have sufficient income available to be able to enter into an agreement with Habitat to pay the monthly mortgage.
- If credit issues exist, those must be addressed through pre-purchase counseling with our staff before you can receive approval for participation in Habitat’s homeownership program.
- Complete Habitat’s homeowner preparation program, provided at no cost by Habitat to prepare applicants for homeownership. This includes courses in personal finance, budgeting, mortgages, credit, home maintenance and repair, conflict resolution, being a good neighbor, and others.
- Be willing to complete a minimum of 300 hours of volunteer service to Habitat. Known as “sweat equity,” this includes working on the construction of the prospective homeowner’s home, other Habitat homes and possibly volunteering at other nonprofit organizations.
Sweat equity hours may be earned through:
- Site preparation
- Community service
- Working in the ReStore or at special events
Although children under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate in construction, they are able to earn hours for good grades in school and volunteering in the community. These hours will be monitored closely by the Program Coordinator, and must be completed prior to closing on the house.
How much is the typical mortgage for a Habitat home?
An average mortgage for a Habitat home varies depending on when the home was built and the number of bedrooms. The mortgage features zero-percent interest.
What is included in the mortgage?
• Principal payment to pay down the remaining loan amount
• Property taxes and insurance
• Termite control
How long is the application and home building process?
The length of the application process depends on a host of factors including the applicant’s financial preparedness and extenuating circumstances. The application process can run from two to six months on average and the home building process averages between four and eight months.
Become a Partner Family
To qualify for aHabitat for Humanity home, Partner Families are required to contribute a minimum of 300 hours towards the construction of their new home. Contact us for more details about our criteria and application process for a Habitat for Humanity home.