Habitat has developed local chapters across the country and worldwide to maintain support and charitable work at the community level. In the 45 years we’ve been around, we have helped more than one million families or nearly seven million people find safe shelter.
How Habit Homes Work
One of the most common misconceptions about Habitat is that houses are given away for free. In actuality, families are able to make an affordable down payment on their home and pay a monthly mortgage payment of no more than 30 percent of their monthly income.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that is all about affordable housing. We provide three services in the homeownership process: home construction, mortgage financing, and mortgage servicing. Since Habitat doesn’t give homes away, homeowners must prove that they have a steady income to pay their monthly mortgage. This means the family, or the individual Habitat is working with still undergoes a homebuying process.
Another misconception is Habitat for Humanity is a quick housing solution. First, you need to fill out an application during the application season. Usually, this season is once a year.
After The Application Is Received
The applications will then be reviewed. An applicant’s income documentation and a credit report will be looked over, along with any items that may detract from an applicant’s financial eligibility. That could be anything from unpaid liens, outstanding collections, or recent bankruptcies. Habitat officials are looking for applicants to have stable and sufficient income to ensure they will be financially ready for homeownership. This application and review process can take between one and three months.
Once an applicant is accepted into the Homeownership Program, you must complete the required number of Sweat Equity hours at Habitat’s construction sites. This is called Habitat’s Sweat Equity process, and it could comprise a few hundred hours of volunteer work. However, suppose a future homeowner has conditions that prevent them from volunteering on an active construction site. In that case, it can be arranged for other opportunities to fulfill the Sweat Equity requirement, but it might delay the process of an applicant moving into their own home.
Depending on your Sweat Equity progress, available funding and construction schedules, ultimately, it could take eight months to two years before you are able to move into your Habitat for Humanity home.
What if after you have gone through the Habitat process, moved in, and made your home yours, if you want to move and sell your Habitat home? You are free to do so. Habitat has the first option to buy the house back at Fair Market Value if you decide to sell. You will share in the equity and any increase or decrease in the Fair Market Value according to the number of years you have owned the home. Once the sale is complete, Habitat for Humanity can refurbish the house and then sell it to a new Habitat homeowner.