Have you heard about Habitat for Humanity in an ad or seen it on TV? Probably, but you may have some misconceptions about what the program is and what it does.
For example, you may think that they give away homes for free. You may feel that you have to be impoverished or homeless to qualify. And you may also believe that groups of random people show up to build new homes without any real experience or expertise in construction.
While this quick guide will focus mostly on the eligibility requirements for Habitat for Humanity housing, let’s begin with some frequently asked questions on how the program operates.
1. What is the primary goal of Habitat for Humanity?
A quick visit to the home page of Habitat’s official website tells you the program’s primary goal in a nutshell.
It’s a nonprofit organization that strives to:
- Help families build new homes or improve their existing ones.
- Make safe housing affordable.
- Create stable communities.
Notice that Habitat for Humanity improves existing homes as well. So if you thought they were only involved in new construction, you now know that they could help you make your current home safer and more efficient too.
2. What are Habitat for Humanity homes like?
To make housing as livable and affordable as possible, Habitat constructs homes with these three main characteristics:
- Easy to maintain
Compare this to standard house shopping where agents show you homes that are too big, too expensive, and inefficient, and it’s easy to see why Habitat for Humanity is an excellent option for housing on a budget.
3. For whom is Habitat housing ideal?
If you’ve always dreamed of owning your first home in a safe community for your family, Habitat may be just what the doctor ordered.
And if you’re also looking for a home that is, as mentioned above, small, safe, and easy to maintain, a Habitat for Humanity home may be right for you too.
4. Are Habitat for Humanity eligibility requirements the same everywhere you go?
No. And since Habitat has offices in over 70 countries worldwide, the prerequisites to qualify for housing will depend on where you live.
With that being said, there are some basic prerequisites, which we’ll discuss now.
5. What are Habitat’s basic eligibility requirements?
As stated, Habitat does not randomly “gift” homes for free. You will have to apply to qualify.
When you do apply, you will have to meet three standard prerequisites of being a legal resident, having a stable income, and having decent credit.
6. What are the income limits for Habitat for Humanity housing?
These vary depending on location. You can find out the limits and more by contacting your local Habitat for Humanity here.
7. Once you qualify, what are you expected to do?
You will have to perform “sweat equity” to contribute to the construction of your home in some way. This could include actual labor, or attending classes and doing administrative work.
8. Besides sweat equity, what else is required to own a Habitat home?
Since the home will not be free, you will have to make monthly mortgage payments on time. If this seems worrisome, remember that the program makes them as affordable as possible, so your dream of owning a home can come true.