WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWN?
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati is a partnership housing program in the truest sense of the word. Applicants must demonstrate a need for housing, ability to pay back a mortgage estimated at $550 per month (including taxes and insurance) and be willing to partner with Habitat in the building and buying of their home. Habitat homebuyers work side by side with volunteers each week building their own home and the homes of others, attend homeownership and financial training classes and are positive ambassadors for HFHGC throughout every step of the process. In exchange, Habitat homebuyers are provided the opportunity to build and buy a Habitat for Humanity home with an affordable mortgage payment. We are not a charity and we give away nothing, but opportunity.
STOP PAYING A LANDLORD AND SEE IF YOU QUALIFY TO BUY YOUR OWN HOME!
STEP 1: DON’T PUT OFF APPLYING!
Many Habitat homeowners said they took months to even years to finally apply to build and buy a home with Habitat after they learned about this opportunity. If you are concerned or unsure if you qualify, please don’t assume you are not qualified. Even if you apply and your application is denied, you will be provided with the reason for your denial so you can, possibly, re-apply in the future. You will never know if you are eligible unless you apply.
STEP 2: REVIEW HABITAT’S 3 CRITERIA FOR QUALIFYING
- Must Have Need for Adequate Housing: Must be living in substandard or inadequate housing that does not meet your needs. Living in subsidized housing meets this criteria or anyone whose current housing expenses exceed 30% of their income. Do not disqualify yourself because you feel you do not have a housing need. We encourage you to apply and let Habitat determine if you meet this criteria.
- Must Have Ability to Pay: Must be able to afford an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $550 (including taxes and insurance). The ability to pay criteria are listed as part of Step 4.
- Must Be Willing to Partner: This is a public partnership with many responsibilities and expectations for each homebuyer. At Habitat, we often say we give away nothing to our homebuyers, but an opportunity. To be considered for a Habitat home you must be willing to earn “sweat equity” hours. You earn sweat equity hours by working to help in building your home and the homes of others, working in the Habitat ReStores or other approved activities. In addition, you earn hours by attending required home buying classes and Habitat events.
HOW MANY HOURS MUST BE EARNED?
250 Sweat Equity Hours – One Applicant Households where only one person is officially purchasing the home must earn 250 hours of sweat equity.
500 Sweat Equity Hours – Two applicant (applicant and co-applicant) households must earn 500 hours of sweat equity.
You must commit to the following partnership requirements.
- Commit to earning 8 hours of sweat equity per month until home starts construction
- Commit to being at your build site each Saturday that your home is under construction
- Commit to paying $800 towards the first year insurance premium
- Commit to attending monthly Homebuyer group meetings
- Commit to attending home buying classes that will cover a variety of topics such as an overview of Habitat for Humanity, home maintenance, lawn care, purchasing a home, purchase documents, all forms of insurance, etc.
- Commit to attend Financial Peace University. This is a national program used by Habitat affiliates across the country. These are 9-week sessions that are, typically, scheduled over 9 Saturdays. If you attend sessions provided by Habitat, classes will be free.
- Commit to certifying household debts AND income every six months until home is purchased. Any negative change in income or debts could result in your de-selection from the Habitat program.
NOTE: You must be comfortable with friends and family knowing you are purchasing a home with Habitat. This is a public partnership that can involve news coverage, social media coverage and information about homebuyers and build sites are shared on the Habitat website.
STEP 3: CONFIRM YOUR HOUSEHOLD MEETS THESE INCOME REQUIREMENTS
|Family Size||Minimum Monthly Gross Income||Maximum Monthly Gross Income (80% of median income)|
STEP 4: CONFIRM YOU MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS
- Inability to qualify for a mortgage – Habitat will verify this, you do not need to do anything.
- No bankruptcy within the past 3 years (must be 3 years from date of discharge)
- No eviction within the past 12 months
- Must be a 1st time homebuyer, as defined by HUD
- No felony convictions for anyone in household over age 18 in the prior 5 years
- No open judgments or liens.
- Debt/Income ratio cannot exceed 40% of monthly income spent on estimated mortgage payment of $550 and monthly debt combined.
- No more than $2,000 in uncollected past due, bad debt. Example: If a credit card has a $3,000 balance and payments are current, this is not considered a “bad” debt. However, if the credit card is in default and is in collection that would be considered a “bad” debt.
- You can check your credit by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to receive 1 free copy from each of the 3 reporting credit agencies one time per year by visiting this website.
NOTE: Married applicants can apply individually, but spouse must be listed on application as member of household, provide all income and asset information, consent to a background check, and agree to sign a release of dower at time of home purchase. The spouse who is not an applicant will not have their income or debts counted when determining if the applicant meets the ability to pay criteria, but their income and assets will be considered to determine if the household income is within Habitat’s guidelines.
STEP 5: DETERMINE IF YOU ARE WILLING TO BUILD WHERE HFHGC IS CURRENTLY BUILDING.
NO BUILD SITES ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE (AS OF JAN. 15, 2021)
Typically, we update our website throughout the year on the 10th of each month if we have sites that are ready to be matched with homebuyers. Due to Covid-19, we have scaled back construction of homes until we are able to welcome volunteers back safely.
This means, at this time, we do not have ANY build sites available and do not anticipate updating the website until August 2021 with new build sites for applicants to consider.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IF YOU WANT TO APPLY TO BUILD AND BUY A HOME WITH HABITAT?
You can still submit an application to help determine if you are qualified for Habitat’s program.
1. IF YOU APPLY AND ARE NOT QUALIFIED- If your application is denied for any reason, you can use this time to improve the factors that caused your denial, so that you are ready to reapply when a new list of available build sites is posted.
2. IF YOU APPLY AND ARE QUALIFIED - If you are qualified, your application would still be denied, because we cannot match you to an available build site. However, you would have the security of knowing that you should still be qualified in the future when we list new build sites.
The important thing to understand is that if you apply at this time, we will not be able to do anything but review your application to determine if you are qualified. All applications received, whether qualified or not, will be denied.
But, you can use this time, while we are waiting to release new build sites, to apply to find out IF you are qualified and be better prepared when new build sites are available and then reapply at that time.
STEP 6: Request an application if you think you meet the list of requirements and you are willing to build and buy a home at one of the build sites listed above.
Even if you are not interested in an available build site, you may apply, but understand we do not anticipate this list of available build site lists changing by the time your application is reviewed.
To complete an application, pick one of these options:
1) Click here to print the application right now.
2) Click here to request an application by completing the Homebuyer Interest Form and an application will be mailed to you. Applications are mailed each Friday.
3) Call 513-621-4147, Ext. 3 to leave your name and mailing address — an application will be mailed. This is a 24-hour voicemail box, so you can call at any time. Applications are mailed each Friday.
Please read the introduction pages completely. This provides you an overview of requirements, selection process, and documentation required to be submitted with application.
STEP 7: Complete the application
You must submit the completed application and all required documentation by mail to determine if you qualify.
Habitat will respond within 30 days of the receipt of your application.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati
4910 Para Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45237