Applicant families must meet the following general selection criteria for consideration: demonstrated need for adequate shelter, ability to make house payments, and a willingness to partner with Habitat. To be accepted to purchase a Habitat for Humanity home, partner families must at a minimum meet these general guidelines:
- Have an income that is too low to enable them to secure conventional financing from a bank or other lending institution, but sufficient for them to make the monthly payments required on the no-interest Habitat mortgage and other living expenses.
- Be living in inadequate or substandard housing conditions, or expending more than 30% of their gross income on housing. Substandard housing conditions can be caused by overcrowding or homes with unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
- Be willing to fulfill the requirements of Habitat homeownership by putting in the mandatory “sweat equity” hours in the building of their own house, taking homeowner- related classes, or working on Habitat-related projects. Each family is required to complete 250 hours of sweat equity per adult household member (18 or above). Children 14 through 18 are asked to complete 50 hours. The total required number of sweat equity hours will not exceed 500 hours per family.
- Have the ability to save money for a small down payment and closing costs.
- Participate in programs to learn and practice home repair, maintenance, budgeting, and other life skills.