IMG_20181220_161140
USIN-18-4225-sd-min
20181130_162118(0)

Homeownership Program

A Habitat home is a strong foundation.
A Habitat home provides essential stability.
A Habitat home empowers and allows a family to be self-reliant.
See how you can own a Habitat home.

The Habitat Homeownership program allows families to purchase a decent home with an affordable mortgage. We have pre-set designs and build locations where qualified families invest time and Sweat Equity by taking homeownership classes, working on build sites, and building their own home. Homeownership builds strength, stability, and self-reliance. An applicant must meet all criteria listed below to be considered for the Homeownership program.

In the United States, 1 in 7 households spends 50% or more of their pre-tax income on housing. That leaves precious little income for basic necessities such as food, transportation, and medical care.

The fair market value for a two-bedroom apartment in St. Joseph County is approximately $851 a month. We pre-qualify our applicants for an affordable monthly mortgage payment. With a Habitat home, you can own your home instead of renting and gain equity every month. Homeownership builds your confidence and self-reliance as you care for and maintain your home.

There are three main criteria for applying for a Habitat home:

  • Ability to pay
  • Need for housing
  • Willingness to partner

Based on Habitat selection criteria, any applicant must be able to answer yes to all of these statements:

  • I need housing and do not own my home.
  • I am willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County. I will fulfill the required “Sweat Equity” hours, attend homeowner education classes and monthly meetings, and complete any required financial plans.
  • My income falls within the income guidelines below:
    • Family size: 1 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $41,200
      Family Size: 2 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $47,040
      Family Size: 3 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $52,960
      Family Size: 4 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $58,800
      Family Size: 5 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $63,520
      Family Size: 6 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $68,240
      Family Size: 7 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $72,960
      Family Size: 8 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $77,680
    • Family Size: 9 Minimum Income: $23,500 Maximum Income: $82,400
  • I have not declared bankruptcy in the last four years.
  • I have not lost a home to foreclosure in the last three years.
  • I have paid my monthly bills on time for the last 12 months (including loans, credit cards, rent, etc.)
  • I have had a stable income and employment for the last 12 months.
  • I am a US Citizen or Permanent Resident

Qualified applicants must:

  • Meet income and credit guidelines
  • Be willing to complete all program requirements, including sweat equity hours and homeowner education classes.
  • Be ready to purchase an available home.
  • Pass criminal history and sex offender background checks.
  • Furnish all required documentation and information, which may vary based on individual circumstances.

We are an equal housing opportunity lender.

Sweat Equity is the time your family must invest in Habitat by attending Homeownership program classes, volunteering at the ReStore, possibly volunteering on Habitat builds, and helping to build your very own home! We have volunteer opportunities for people of all abilities.

How much Sweat Equity is required?

  • A single adult family – 250 hours
  • Two or more adults in a family – 500 hours
  • Hours can be completed by those who are living in the home. Family, friends, or co-workers can donate some hours.

Last three months of pay stubs for each household income earner.

Last two years of W2’s and tax returns for each household income earner.

Divorce decree, court order for child support, alimony and printout of at least one year of payments received, as applicable.

Verification of SSI/Disability for all household members, as applicable.

Must provide verification of any other form of income.

Last two months of bank statements for each applicant.

Will need to provide copies of Social Security cards and drivers licenses or state identification cards for all adult household members.

Provide payment history documentation from utility companies (gas, electric, water, phone, etc.).

Additional information or documentation may be required based on individual circumstances.

    Interested in applying? The first step is to attend an Application Meeting. Please fill out this contact form to be notified as soon as the next set of meetings becomes available.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Address (required)

    Your Phone (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Message

    Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County is enacting our Veteran’s Initiative, where we help place Military Veterans into affordable housing. If you or someone in your family is a military veteran in need of housing, please call our office at 574-288-6967 and ask about assistance for Veterans.

    Please fill out the contact form below or call 574-288-6967 and ask about Homeownership.

      Interested in applying? The first step is to attend an Application Meeting. Please fill out this contact form to be notified as soon as the next set of meetings becomes available.

      Your Name (required)

      Your Address (required)

      Your Phone (required)

      Your Email (required)

      Your Message

      There are three main criteria for applying for a Habitat home.

      Ability to Pay
      Need for Housing
      Willingness to Partner
      • Our income guidelines can change at any time due to grant or program requirements
      • Any qualified applicants must meet the above income guidelines, based on gross (pre-tax) income per year
      • Satisfactory credit history in the last 12 months
      • All collections and judgments must be explainable and resolvable prior to closing on a home
      • Rent should be paid on time each month
      • At least 4 years after a bankruptcy, with credit re-established
      • At least 3 years after a foreclosure, with credit re-established
      • If no credit, must provide 3 “non-traditional” credit references (12 months payment history on monthly bills)
      • Debt-to-income ratios are reviewed to determine affordability
      • Must meet income guidelines
      • Physical need
      • Financial Need
      • Need assessed during in-home visit
      • Must be willing to complete sweat equity hours
      • Attend monthly meetings
      • Attend homeowner education classes
      • Complete financial plans
      • Consent to background check and sex offender registry check

      Interested in applying?

        Interested in applying? The first step is to attend an Application Meeting. Please fill out this contact form to be notified as soon as the next set of meetings becomes available.

        Your Name (required)

        Your Address (required)

        Your Phone (required)

        Your Email (required)

        Your Message

        Attend an Application Meeting and take the first step on your journey to homeownership!