Habitat for Humanity is a non-for-profit Christian ministry that believes everyone should have a decent, affordable place to live. Whatever racial, ethnic or religious background you come from, we welcome your application. The program is a partnership between you as a prospective homeowner and the Habitat organization, and is not a charity.
Advantages of becoming a Habitat homeowner
- Habitat houses are well-built
- Houses are sold at cost - Habitat does not make any profit
- Habitat houses cost less than commercially built or renovated houses - many materials are donated and labor is volunteered
- Habitat charges NO interest on the mortgage
- Monthly mortgage payments are between 15% and 20% of a family's gross annual income and include property taxes and homeowners' insurance
How does a family qualify?
The family must be able to manage house and utility payments and still have enough money left over to live on.
The family's annual income must be:
- At least $20,000 for a renovated house
- A least $33,600 for a newly built house
- Income should not exceed the following guidelines, but individual circumstances may be taken into account:
|Family Size||Max Annual Income|
- If a family's income is too large and the family could get a conventional mortgage from a bank, the Habitat program is not appropriate for that family
- The family must be willing to live in the County of Niagara
- The family may be receiving food stamps, Medicaid, SSI, SSD, and certain other social benefits.
- Any legal judgments against the family must be cleared up before homeownership.
- The family must be able to manage any debt that it has.
- If the applicant(s) has gone through bankruptcy, at least three years must have elapsed since the discharge of the bankruptcy.
- After being selected, the family must be willing to earn 500 hours of "sweat equity" as a partner with Habitat.
What exactly is sweat equity?
- "Sweat equity" means labor put in at construction sites where family members age 16 or older work together with volunteers to build or renovate houses.
- Habitat teaches all the necessary skills.
- Friends and relatives can put in as many as 200 of the 500 hours required.
- Hours can also be earned by attending Habitat workshops or by an educational achievement.