Becoming a Habitat Homeowner
Habitat’s homeownership program is based upon the concept of partnership. Habitat’s commitment to that partnership is to build simple, decent homes and sell them to qualified low income working families via a 25-year, zero percent interest mortgage. Habitat offers families accepted into our program the necessary homebuyer education to become long-term successful homeowners. Partner families are required to:
- Complete 400 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their home and that of another Habitat family
- Follow program guidelines
- Repay the mortgage on time.
The application process consists of attending a mandatory information meeting for prospective homebuyers (where the application can be obtained), completion of the application form, credit check, an office interview, fourteen (14) hours of volunteer work on a Habitat work site, and a home interview.
There are several things that you can do to prepare yourself for homeownership:
- Request a copy of your credit report. If there are any issues that you need to address, it is a good idea to begin soon. If you need assistance with credit issues, contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 1-800-208-2227.
- Shop around. There are a number of housing programs in New Haven that may also be able to assist you. Each housing program is different, and we encourage you to compare what each has to offer, so that you can find the route to homeownership that best meets your needs.
- Open a savings account. When purchasing a home, a down payment and closing costs are part of the process. Moving expenses, emergency home repairs, etc. are all steps that require a significant amount of money. Planning ahead with a savings account is one way to prepare for all the costs that lie ahead.
Habitat does not keep a waiting list. Each time we are ready to begin building a house, we hold an information meeting for prospective homebuyers. We announce the meeting date, time and location:
- On the front page of our website
- Via Facebook and Twitter
- Via Patron Mail (you must be on our email list to receive the message)
- In the New Haven Register (and other area newspapers as appropriate)
- In the New Haven Public Library electronic bulletin (which you can subscribe to)
- With flyers left at the New Haven Public Library (all branches)
- Mailings to schools, churches, social organizations, Board of Aldermen, etc.
You are always welcome to call the Habitat office at (203) 785-0794 to inquire if there is a meeting scheduled.