Habitat for Humanity selects homeowner partners based on 3 criteria.
1. Need for adequate shelter
Habitat examines the applicant’s current need for adequate housing, as his/her current housing situation must meet one or more of the following conditions:
- Structural problems
- Inadequate electrical system, plumbing, or lack of an indoor bathroom
- Lack of functioning entrance and exit points
- Unsafe heating system or no formal heating system
- Unsuitable neighborhood
- Unhealthy or unsanitary conditions
- Inoperable kitchen or bathroom
- Little or no insulation
- Inadequate number of bedrooms as determined by number, ages, and gender of household
- Homelessness: living with friends or relatives or in temporary housing
- Cost-burdened: cost of rent plus utilities is more than 30% of monthly income
- Family has been denied conventional or government-assisted mortgage
- Government-subsidized housing (i.e. housing authorities or Section 8 loan housing)
2. Ability to pay for their home
Receiving a Habitat home is an important gift to be treasured, and we want to make sure that any home given will not fall into foreclosure and change hands. Therefore, we believe a Habitat homeowner must:
- Have a sufficient, steady, monthly income to pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance without becoming debt-burdened, and must fall within our income limits (50%-80% of the HUD median income for the respective family size).
- Receive adequate results of a comprehensive analysis that includes detailed income verification, budget analysis, credit checks, and debt-to-income ratio.
- Provide documented sources of income, credit and debt history and issues (bankruptcy, liens, judgments, write-offs, etc.), and any legal implications (child support, marital separation, etc.)
- It is vital to understand that Habitat is not judging the applicant’s life in any way! We simply are asking a family to participate in our partnership and demonstrate why they are deserving and how they are working to help themselves in addition to any help provided by Habitat volunteerism.
3. Willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity
Habitat owners put in hundreds of hours of "sweat equity", helping build their homes and the homes of others in the program. This might also include classes in personal finance, home maintenance, and other homeownership topics.