The Application Process:
Habitat Partner Families are chosen based on evaluation of three criteria:
- Ability to Pay
The total applicant household income must include income from all members of the household and must be documented by copies of paystubs, W-2s, benefit letters, etc. Total household income must be enough for the family to be able to make affordable monthly payments, but cannot be below 25% or exceed 60% of the median income for Columbia County, based on family size, as shown in the table below. FY 2015 Median Income for County was $74,900.
Habitat evaluates the financial readiness of each applicant household, but does not use credit scores as criteria. A credit report, however, will be run on an applicant to review the applicant’s general payment history.
- Willingness to Partner
Applicant(s) must be agree to:
- Invest 300 hours in “sweat equity”. All families buying Habitat houses around the world help with the building of their own homes. Friends and family members 16 years or older can participate to help to earn hours.
- Attend an approved First-Time Homebuyers course before purchasing a Habitat home.
- Take financial and maintenance responsibility for a Habitat home.
- Submit to a Sex Offender database check and a Criminal Background Check as part of the application process.
- Need for Adequate Housing
Applicant(s) must demonstrate one or more of the following:
- They are financially unable to obtain a conventional mortgage loan to purchase adequate shelter.
- The current shelter is substandard and the problems(s) are assumed to be of such magnitude that simple maintenance of the defects is not a reasonable
- The current shelter has an inadequate number of bedrooms as determined by the number, ages, and sex of household members.
- The current neighborhood is unsuitable (unsafe or unsanitary).