Requirements for Habitat Homeowner Applicants
It’s YOUR chance to become a homeowner! See what Habitat means by offering a “Hand Up, not a Hand Out!”
To qualify for a home with Habitat of Greater Lowell, the applicant must live, work or attend school in the City of Lowell or one of our 14 neighboring towns (as designated by the following map). If not, please “find your local Habitat for Humanity” to see which affiliate covers your area.
Four Criteria for selection:
1. Ability to Pay:
Incomes for all family members living in the home must fall within the following guidelines for our Concord build:
|Family Size||2020 Minimum Income
(30% of AMI)
|2020 Maximum Income
(60% of AMI)
2. Need for Adequate and Affordable Shelter, Including:
- Problems with building, heating, building code, etc.
- Overcrowding: insufficient bedrooms
- Temporary housing situations
- 50% or more of family gross income spent on housing costs
- Substandard housing conditions including mold, bugs/rodents, water damage
- Need for handicapped accessibility
- Safety issues
3. Willingness To Partner:
- Applicants must complete sweat equity hours (225 hours for a single applicant and 450 hours for dual applicants) building their own or other Habitat homes and attending financial training and homeownership programs.
- Participation in condominium association (where applicable)
- Willingness to grant Habitat first option to buy back the home
- Qualified applicants for a Habitat home must be documented residents of the US.
4. Household Size Preference: (First preference to households requiring the total number of bedrooms based on):
- There is at least one occupant and no more than two occupants in each bedroom
- Couples, or those in similar living arrangements, shall be required to share a bedroom
- Children of the same gender and those of the opposite gender under eight may share a bedroom.
Once a housing opportunity has been identified the following application process begins:
Information Sessions: Sessions are held to share information on the home, build timeline and application process.
Pre-Qualification Form is submitted by the designated date and reviewed by a Committee to determine if a family is eligible to apply for this homeownership opportunity.
Potential applicant must complete 2 hours of “Money Matters” class and 2 hours of onsite volunteering before final application is due.
Final applications are provided to those who qualify based on information presented on the Pre-qualification form. These applications are submitted and reviewed by a Committee for completeness and verification that applicants meet eligibility criteria.
Home Visits are conducted by the Committee members to meet applicants and verify a need for housing.
Eligible Applicants are assigned an ID number and chosen by random selection. Confirmation by the Habitat Board of Directors and final approval by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is required.
Home Construction can take between 12-24 months before a partner family can purchase and move into their home.
This program is not able to address immediate housing needs.
At this time homeownership applications are not available. Please check back soon.
To join a list of those interested in homeownership opportunities and to be notified of our next build, please complete the information below. THIS IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP and we do not keep a waiting list. This is merely a list for you to be notified each time a new homeownership opportunity becomes available. You will be invited to an information session and you can apply at that time.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, marital status, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, source of income and genetic information
How can I obtain a homeownership application?
We do not always have homeownership opportunities available. When a homeownership opportunity does become available, applications will be posted here. If a homeownership opportunity is available, you may also call or email us to request an application.
Are their income requirements?
Yes, applicant’s income must fall between 30-60% of the Area Median Income. These guidelines are set by HUD and based on household size (the number family members who will be living in the home). *These guidelines change annually and change based on the town we build in. Current Greater Lowell HUD AMI guidelines for our Concord build are:
|Family Size||2020 Minimum Income(30% of AMI)||2020 Maximum Income(60% of AMI)|
Once selected, do Habitat homeowners receive the home for free?
No. As with all Habitat programs, our homeownership opportunities offer “a hand-up, not a handout”. If selected, homeowners pay a 0 interest mortgage for 25-30 years. These payments, combined with taxes and insurance would not exceed 30% of the homeowners monthly gross income.
What is “sweat equity”?
Sweat equity is an integral part of the Habitat mission. This makes us different From local city and town affordable home lotteries. Greater Lowell Habitat homeowners are required to complete 225 hours (one head of household) or 450 hours (two head of household) of sweat equity. This includes, working along side volunteers to build your home, helping out at the ReStore and attending the required financial training and homeownership classes.
Do I need to be a first time homebuyer?
No. A person is a “first-time homebuyer” if no person in his or her household has, within the preceding three years, either owned the house they lived in or owned an interest in one or more other houses, such as through joint ownership and cannot own a home in trust.
Exceptions may be made in the following instances:
- A displaced homemaker: A displaced homemaker is an individual who is an adult who meets ALL the following criteria:
- Has not worked full-time for a full year in the labor force for a number of years but has, during such years, worked primarily without compensation to care for the home and family.
- Owned a home with his or her partner or resided in a home owned by the
- Does not own the home previously owned with a
- Is unmarried to or divorced from their partner.
- A single parent, where the individual owned a home with his or her partner or resided in a home owned by the partner and is a single parent (is unmarried or divorced from a partner and either has 1 or more children of whom they have custody or joint custody, or is pregnant).
- An age-qualified household (in which at least one member is age 55 or Over) which is selling a home in order to purchase an affordable
- A household that owned a property that was not in compliance with State, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent
- A household that owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation (example – mobile home) in accordance with applicable