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.

Attending an Application Meeting is the first step toward Homeownership with Habitat. Our next meetings are November 13th at 5:30pm, Liberty Elementary School in Mishawaka and November 18th at 11:00am, South Bend Downtown Library in South Bend. Please RSVP at habitathomes.eventbrite.com or call our office 574-288-6967 to reserve your seat.

Habitat is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating sub-standard housing. Since 1987, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County has built over 190 affordable, quality built homes for families in our community.

The Habitat program allows families to purchase their home at 0% interest, saving them tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loan. Monthly mortgage payments are affordable and help build more homes in St. Joseph County.

Qualified families invest time in what we call Sweat Equity – by taking classes to prepare them for homeownership, by working on Habitat build sites, and eventually, helping to build their very own home.

Attend an application meeting and take the first step on your journey to homeownership!

Qualified applicants must:

  • Meet income and credit guidelines
  • Have a need for housing, either financial or physical
  • Be willing to complete hundreds of hours of “sweat equity”, attend homeowner education classes, and complete all program requirements

Not sure if you would qualify? Here are some guidelines:

  • 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
  • We pull criminal history and sex offender checks
  • 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
  • Please review our income guidelines

1 in 4 Americans spend more than 50% of their pre-tax income on housing. That leaves precious little for basic necessities like food, transportation, and medical care. The Fair Market Value for a 2 bedroom apartment in St. Joseph County is $787/month. With a Habitat home, the average cost is $550/month, you can own it (instead of renting), and gain equity every month. Homeownership also means that you alone are responsible for maintaining your home.

Last three months of pay stubs for each person earning income

Last two years of tax returns for each person earning income

Last two years of W2s for each person earning income

Proof of full-time or part-time enrollment for any child in college or a technical institute

Last two months of bank statements for each applicant

Payment history letters from each of your utility companies (gas, electric, water, phone, etc.)

Copies of drivers license or state identification card for each member of household

Copies of social security card for each member of household

Divorce decree, if applicable

Court Order for Child Support or Alimony Income, if applicable

Print out of at least one year of Received Child Support or Alimony Income, if applicable

Verification of SSI/Disability for all applicable household members

Verification of any other form of income, if applicable

A copy of your lease agreement of home and/or land mortgage, if applicable

—Sweat Equity is the time your family must invest in Habitat by attending Homeownership Classes, volunteering at the ReStore, volunteering on Habitat builds, and eventually helping to build your very own home.

—A Single adult family = 250 hours

—Two or more adults in a family = 500 hours

It can be completed by those who are living in the home, but they have to be ages 16 and up (14-15 can only do certain approved tasks). However, —20% can be donated by friends/family/co-workers!

Nope! There is no application fee, no acceptance fee, and no fees at all until we close on your new house. Your investment in the program is shown through the Sweat Equity you perform.

Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County is enacting our Veteran’s Initiative, where we help place Military Veterans into affordable housing.

Principal payment: $350/month average. Always constant and reduces the balance on your loan.

Escrow payment: $200/month average. Pays for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

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

Your Name (required)

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

Ability to Pay
Need for Housing
Willingness to Partner

1.) Ability to Pay

1 year within our income guidelines

Steady employment

New mortgage payment will be less than 30% of your pre-tax income

No credit score requirement

Satisfactory credit history within the last 12 months 

Collections and judgments must be explainable and resolvable prior to closing on a home

Rent should be paid on time each month

2.) Need for Housing

Substandard, inadequate, or overcrowded housing

Housing cost too high compared to income

3.) Willingness to Partner

Complete Sweat Equity requirements

Save for $3500 for down payment and closing cost

Satisfy delinquent debt and judgments

Open communication and partnership through 8-18 month program

Criminal Background Check

Sex Offender Registry Check

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