Habitat homeowners own some of the most attractive, affordable, and energy efficient homes in our community. The Habitat program is about helping people find opportunity, stability, and improve their future. Our program is not a hand out, it’s a hand up. It requires investment, hard work, learning, and sweat equity yet our homeowner’s will tell you…it’s worth it!
What It Takes to Qualify
Need – If your current rent is more than 1/3 of your monthly income, you live in poor quality housing or you are overcrowded in your current living situation, then you could qualify for our homeownership program.
Willingness to Partner – If you are willing to complete 300 hours of sweat equity which includes home owner education classes, then we invite you to attend an upcoming Homeowner Application Workshop and consider applying. We believe people need a hand up, not a hand out so your investment and participation are an important part of our homeownership process.
Ability to Pay a Portion of the Costs – We want to help your family succeed by reducing the burden of high monthly housing expenses. In order for you to be successful, we follow income and debt guidelines. Your credit repayment history is also a part of the process of determining if our program is right for you. Please click here for income guidelines.
The Process of Becoming a Habitat Homeowner
Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with qualifying partner families and the community, and then sells the homes at no profit with zero percent interest mortgages to partnering families. We also prepare partner families to be successful homeowners. The following steps describe the process of becoming a Habitat Homeowner:
Step 1: Do you meet the requirements and are you ready for Habitat homeownership?
- Must meet Southern Crescents Habitat’s income guidelines and credit standards.
- Must acknowledge and accept the responsibilities of homeownership.
- Must attend all sessions of Habitat homeowner training.
- Must contribute 200-300 hours of work toward the construction of Habitat homes.
- Must be willing to save $1,500 for a down-payment at the time of closing.
- Must be a first time homebuyer.
Step 2: Attend a Habitat Application Workshop
Let us know you are interested by completing the online Homeownership Questionnaire and you’ll receive an email with information on the next Homeownership Application Workshop. Workshops are held monthly at various locations throughout the community. Participants learn about homeownership basics and detailed information about the Habitat Program. You will also receive a full application package.
Step 3: Application Process
The application process has several steps.
- Complete and return the application with all required documents.
- Include a check or money order in the amount of $35 to cover your application fee.
- You may be asked to provide additional information and participate in a home interview with a representative from Habitat
Step 4: Decision by Family Selection Committee and Board of Directors
Our Family Selection Committee is made up of trained and committed volunteers who help us make decisions regarding who qualifies for the program. We are a Fair Housing agency, which means we do not discriminate based on race/color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, disability, or familial status. Our program is open to all household types including individuals, couples, single parents with children, couples with children, etc. The Family Selection Committee makes a recommendation to our Board of Directors for approval to become a Habitat partner family.
Step 5: Homeowner Education & Sweat Equity
Once approved, all Habitat partner families must complete our Homeowner Education Plus program. You’ll learn alongside other Habitat partner families about topics that include money management and budgeting, mortgages and financial fitness, home maintenance and safety, and community involvement and engagement.
The sweat equity process is where Habitat partner families start to volunteer and work on other Habitat homes, home repair projects, our ReStore, and even their very own house. Prospective homeowners with physical limitations can work in the office, on special projects and in our ReStore.
Step 6: Move Into Your New Home!
When you have completed 50% of the program requirements, we will develop a homeownership and construction plan with you. At that time, we may target a house location, construction budget and timeline for completion. Our program is not an emergency housing solution and the process may take up to a year, but much of that is up to you and your commitment to getting there.