The Metaphor of the Tree - "A tree is an appropriate metaphor for the work that we at Habitat do in partnership with families around the world. We help families to stand firm and safe in a home that they can afford, just as a tree stands firm and rooted in its soil. Like a tree, the family in its snug home grows strong and healthy, spreading its roots deep and wide in the surrounding community." Jonathan Reckford, President, Habitat for Humanity
Home Ownership– how to apply
Four fundamental criteria are used to determine who is selected to be a Habitat partner.
- Need for Shelter - The applicant's current shelter is inadequate because it is either structurally unsound, overcrowded, has unsanitary or unhealthy conditions, or the resident is paying more than 50% of household income for housing.
- Willingness to Partner - The applicant agrees to completes 250 hours of sweat equity for each adult in the family and participate in the partnership program that may include financial counseling and household management education.
- Ability to Pay - The applicant's household income is between 30% and 60% of area’s median income based on family size. ·For a 20-25 year mortgage, a homeowner’s monthly housing expenses would be approximately $500 to $700 a month (includes mortgage payment, home insurance, property taxes, and utilities). We have posted a budget worksheet that can be used to match income with anticipated expenses.
- Residency – Each affiliate has a residency requirement.· Please check with the affiliate where you live to learn about their residency requirement and to see if you are eligible.
For a variety of reasons, many people who would be good Habitat partners do not contact the affiliate in their area. Habitat volunteers understand that it takes courage and conviction to make the initial contact. If you live in sub-standard housing or housing that is not affordable, we encourage you to contact the affiliate that serves your area. If you don't ask, you won't know if you qualify. Sometimes applicants discover that they need to take specific action, such as paying down some debt, in order to qualify. Affiliates will help applicants to take steps forward towards qualifying for a Habitat home.
- Home Ownership - the selection process
- The Home Buyer Selection Committee advertises that the affiliate is looking for a home owner partner.
- Once the deadline is past, the Committee reviews all completed applications and then the Home Buyer Selection Committee
- Requests more information if it is needed
- Reviews the tax return for the previous year and other material provided by the applicant to verify information on the application.
- Checks employment references, landlord references, and credit history..
- Narrows the search to several applicants that best fit the criteria.
- Interviews applicants at their current residence.
- Make a recommendation to the Board of Directors
If you meet these criteria and wish to pursue home ownership through Habitat, contact the affiliate in your area to learn more.· From the home page, click on the icon of the affiliate that is located in your area. Please include your current mailing address and phone number in your letter or email message.·
When collecting, storing, and retrieving applicant, program family, tenant, and homeowner data – such as tax returns, pay stubs, credit reports, employment verifications and payment history – internal controls are maintained throughout the process to ensure security and confidentiality.
Vermont Habitat for Humanity affiliates are committed to keeping your information private. We recognize the importance volunteers, donors, applicants, program families, and homeowners place on the privacy and confidentiality of their information. We are committed to maintaining privacy standards that are synonymous with our established and trusted name.