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APPLICANT FAQ

“The security and stability of knowing I won’t be moving around
and won’t be dependent on others to house me is a huge blessing.”
HABITAT HOMEOWNER

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Habitat give away houses?
How much is a mortgage payment?
How do I qualify for a Habitat home?
Do applicants need good credit?
What is the application process like?
Once accepted into the program, what’s next?
What is Sweat Equity?
How does Habitat Kent determine home size?
Where does Habitat Kent build homes?
Can Habitat homeowners sell their Habitat homes?


Does Habitat give away houses?

No, Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses. Qualified applicants purchase a home from Habitat with a no-interest mortgage, making affordable monthly payments based on their income and expenses.


How much is a mortgage payment?

Habitat homes are sold to Habitat Partners with a no-interest mortgage. Mortgage payments are based on 22-28% of the partner’s gross income.


How do I qualify for a Habitat home?

Habitat Partners must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents and cannot already own a home. Additionally, homebuyers have to meet the following selection criteria:

  • Have a need for housing
  • Be willing to partner with Habitat
  • Have the ability to pay for a home
    • Household income must be at least $25,000 but not more than 60% of the Kent County area median income (the minimum income increases slightly for each additional household member beyond one). Click here for a more detailed look at our qualification information.

Do applicants need good credit?

Part of the application process involves pulling a credit history report. The main consideration is whether an applicant is making consistent payments on their debt. Existing long-term debt should be no more than 38% of an applicant’s gross monthly income. Bankruptcies appearing on credit reports must be discharged in order to be eligible for our homeownership program.


What is the application process like?

Applicants must request an application packet from us by calling (616) 588-5235 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The packet includes an application checklist that lists all the documents needed to apply for the program.

   PHASE 1: Homeownership Application & Affordability Assessment

  • Applicant submits all required documents along with the completed Homeownership Application.
  • We will send verification forms to applicant’s landlord, employer, housing commission, etc., as applicable.
  • The entire application will undergo a careful review to ensure the applicant meets all of the Homebuyer Selection Criteria.
  • We will analyze an applicant’s income and credit report.
  • Applicant will be notified if the application was accepted for further processing or denied.
    • This process may take up to 3 months.

  PHASE 2: Application Meeting

  • All applicants accepted in Phase 1 will be invited to a group meeting to learn more about program requirements.
    • At this stage, applicants will also be provided with a list of the avilable properties. The applicants will be invited to rank the properties in order of preference and will be invited to submit Phase 2 documentation which will be reviewed by Habitat Kent.
      • If the applicant does not wish to select any of the avilable properties, they can withdraw and reapply not less than six months later.

        PHASE 3: Property Presentation

      • If the applicant passes Phase 2, a home interview will be scheduled.
        • During the home interview, our Family Selection Committee meets with the applicant for additional analysis. This committee recommends applicants who qualify for the Homeownership Program to our Board of Directors.
        • If the Board of Directors accepts the committee’s recommendation, an acceptance letter will be mailed to applicant, inviting them to formally participate in our Homeownership Program.

        Habitat for Humanity supports equal housing opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or lawful source of income.


        Once accepted into the program, what’s next?

        Approved applicants, known as Habitat Partners, show their dedication to homeownership by completing the following requirements:

        • Volunteering 300-500 Sweat Equity hours
        • Attending required homeownership classes and workshops
        • Saving $1,000 for a down payment

        It can take up to 18 months to complete the program requirements and move into a Habitat home.


        What is Sweat Equity?

        The term refers to the hands-on involvement of prospective homeowners in the construction of their homes, as well as in other Habitat and community activities. At Habitat Kent, Habitat Partners are required to complete 300-500 Sweat Equity hours, based on the number of mortgage applicants and adults in the household.


        How does Habitat Kent determine home size?

        Our homes range from 2 to 5 bedrooms depending on the size of the Habitat Partner’s household.


        Where does Habitat Kent build homes?

        We build homes mostly in Greater Grand Rapids, but have some in other areas of Kent County, Eastern Ottawa County and Northern Allegan County.


        Can Habitat homeowners sell their Habitat homes?

        Habitat homeowners can sell their homes; however, Habitat for Humanity has a right of first refusal, meaning homes must first be offered back to Habitat for purchase. Habitat will either purchase it or refuse it. Refusal allows Habitat homeowners to put their home on the market by conventional means.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF KENT COUNTY

CONTACT US
616-774-2431
425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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