What is a New Habitat Home?
Habitat builds healthy, energy efficient, affordable homes for working members of our community. Habitat homes are intended to be modest in size and appearance and, at a minimum, will meet International Building Code standards. Beginning in 2011, Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties is also committed to building homes that meet LEED for Homes standards for energy efficiency. Generally speaking, Habitat homes are not, unless required by local covenant, built with basements or garages. Habitat homes do not incorporate expensive landscaping or irrigation systems.
In the absence of local covenants, Habitat homes must meet the following size restrictions:
- 900 sq ft for a 2-bedroom home
- 1,070 sq ft for a 3-bedroom home
- 1,230 sq ft for a 4-bedroom home
Habitat affiliates are, however, expected to comply with local zoning and building codes, which may occasionally require that the affiliate deviate from established size/design criteria.
Do I Qualify?
Habitat evaluates all applicants based on three principal criteria: 1) need; 2) ability to pay; and 3) willingness to partner with Habitat. Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident who meets these criteria may be eligible to become a Habitat homeowner:
- You can demonstrate that you have lived and/or worked for at least the prior twelve (12) consecutive months in either Summit or Wasatch Counties.
- You earn no more than 30-60% of the Area Median Income in Summit or Wasatch County based on your family size. To learn more about Area Median Income in both counties, click here.
- You do not own your own home.
- You currently live in substandard housing. For this purpose, “substandard housing” means any type of residence that has substantial structural or other deficiencies, water leaks, electrical or heating problems or the like, or is overcrowded.
- Your housing costs currently consume more than 30% of your income.
Ability to Pay
- You can demonstrate that you have had the same and/or a stable income source(s) for the last six (6) consecutive months, or that your income has increased over that period.
- You can establish that no more than 30% of your income is used for debt service.
- You can demonstrate that you have not filed for bankruptcy in the past two (2) years. If you have filed for bankruptcy in the past seven (7) years, you are willing to meet with a financial planner to develop a household budget and to live in accordance with that budget.
Willingness to Partner with Habitat
You are willing and able to contribute 200 hours per adult family member of “sweat equity” towards the construction of homes with Habitat. If you are disabled, your sweat equity requirement can be satisfied by volunteering in our office or through other supervised activity in support of Habitat.
- You are willing to attend a homeowner education class and, if required by Habitat, a financial planning/management and/or home maintenance class.
- You are willing to assume the responsibilities of home ownership, which include the ability to care for and maintain your new home.
- You are willing and able to make monthly mortgage payments to Habitat.
- You are interested in becoming part of the Habitat family of homeowners, which includes being a positive and productive partner with Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties.
Prospective homeowners must complete an application and provide Habitat with financial statements, tax returns and other information. They must consent to credit, background and reference checks and home site visits and other reasonable diligence by Habitat.
Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, occupation or otherwise and is an equal opportunity housing provider.
Homeownership is not only a privilege, it is a responsibility. Habitat homeowners are expected to understand and assume all of the various responsibilities of home ownership. These include, but may not be limited to:
- Contributing “sweat equity” (whether construction support or another supervised activity) in support of Habitat home build projects or other activities
- Attending a homeowner education class, financial planning or management class and/or a home maintenance class
- Making monthly mortgage payments to Habitat, which are deposited into a revolving fund and used by Habitat to build new homes
- Caring for and maintaining the home, which includes abiding by all local building ordinances, homeowner association requirements and the like
- Providing positive support for Habitat and its mission
The 3 Step Process to Homeownership
The homeownership process typically takes 6 months. A typical home build takes up to 12 months
1. Application Process
Attend a homeownership class which explains the requirements of the program. At the end of the class you are invited to complete an application which must be returned in a timely manner.
If you meet the initial requirements, you will be asked to provide additional financial information. If you do not meet the initial requirements, based on information provided on the application, Habitat will send an email stating the reason(s) for denial.
2. Home Visit
If your Homeownership Application is approved, the Programs Manager will contact you on behalf of the volunteers on our Family Selection Committee to schedule a home visit. Pending approval by this committee, your application will be referred to the Board of Directors for final approval.
3. Selection of Partner Families
If your Homeownership Application is approved by the Board of Directors, Habitat staff will contact the selected family to meet. At this time, you are invited to begin your partnership with Habitat for Humanity and to begin your sweat equity hours. If your Homeownership Application is not approved, Habitat will contact you and schedule a meeting of explanation and suggest how to keep your application active with HFHSWC on future build.
Please contact us with any questions.