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Qualifying for a Home

The selection of families who will collaborate with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland will be done in a way that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, or familial status.

Each applicant for Habitat housing is individually reviewed by the Family Services Committee (a volunteer committee of Habitat) based on the criteria listed below. The criteria are guidelines and are not considered absolute.

All candidates are screened using the following program criteria: Housing Need, Ability to Afford Homeownership and Willingness to and evidence of ability to Collaborate.

 

Housing Need 

Demonstrate a need for a Habitat home, including one or more of the following:

  • Living in overcrowded conditions or unsafe environments
  • Living with relatives, friends or in other temporary housing
  • Having a high monthly housing expenses
  • Needing accessibility features for a household member
  • Unable to qualify for conventional mortgages

You must also be aware that your need for housing will be assessed relative to other applicants.

 

 
Ability to Afford Home Ownership with Habitat for Humanity 
 
Qualifying income limits are determined by family size earning up to 80% of the greater Portland Metro MFI (Median Family Income). These guidelines are adjusted each year and are based on numbers defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland reserves the right to revise these guidelines at any time.
 
Family Size 2 3 6
Max. Income$43,200  $49,400 $55,550 $61,700 $66,650 $71,600 $76,550 $81,450

A qualifying household must have a minimum annual gross income of a least $30,000.

  • The family must demonstrate the ability to afford a Habitat housing payment that includes principal/interest, taxes, homeowners insurance, repair fund and possibly an association fee. These monthly housing costs cannot exceed 30% of income. Income limits are guidelines and subject to change.
  • Have income that is reliable, verifiable and expected to continue for at least three years. These figures include all forms of income: wages, pensions, disability, TANF, SSI, child support, etc. as long as it is stable. It does not include any form of vouchers or vendor payments such as food stamps, fuel assistance, etc.
  • Self‐employed applicants must be able to provide tax returns and proof of the current year’s income and expenses.

Willingness to Collaborate

Must show a willingness to and evidence of ability to collaborate with Habitat in the construction of their home as well as building the mission of Habitat in the communities where we build. Habitat home buyers are required to invest a minimum of 275 hours of “sweat equity” hours volunteering on Habitat projects and community partnerships. As members of the Habitat community, including a homeowner or condominium association (where applicable), Habitat home buyers must also demonstrate an ability and willingness to be respectful neighbors and responsible homeowners, maintaining their home and property in good order and appearance

Applicants must complete the following hours themselves.

  • Financial Education: 25 hours
  • Habitat Projects & Programs: 115 hours (single head of house household) / 170 (two head of household)
  • Community Service: 25 hours
  • Family & Friends: May contribute up 110 hours (single head of house household) / 55 (two head of household); hours must be prescheduled and are subject to approval.

Families not initially accepted may reapply during other application periods, should their circumstances change.

 

Additional Guidelines and Information
  • Loan Term: Affordable fixed interest rate 30 years, payable monthly.                         
  • Housing Payment: Monthly housing payments include principal payment and interest (if applicable), taxes, insurance, repair fund and in some cases an association fee.
  • Residency Requirements: Must be Citizen by Birth or Naturalization or Legal Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • Closing Costs: You must save $2,000 for closing costs and fees
Families not initially accepted may reapply during other application periods, should their circumstances change. All information is considered confidential and is to be used only for the purpose of selecting qualified families for homeownership..
 
 
 
Program Request and Review Process - Overview

The Family Selection Committee will review your program request using our three program criteria to determine eligibility for participation with the Habitat for Humanity program.

Once your program request forms have been completed the review process will begin and typically takes between 4 to 6 months. An incomplete application form or missing documents may delay the review process.

  1. Preliminary Eligibility: An initial screening will determine if you meet our income criteria guidelines and demonstrate an ability to afford homeownership with Habitat for Humanity.

  2. Interviews: If your program request packet has been recommended for further consideration you will meet two members of the Family Services Committee for up to two (but not limited to) interviews to determine need for housing and willingness to collaborate.

  3. Financial Review: Following satisfactory interviews a family will be presented to a local community bank to be evaluated on their ability to afford a HFH Home. A family/individual’s financial information will be forwarded to the community bank for review and they will meet with a representative from the community bank with a Habitat Staff to complete a pre-qualification and receive required documentation. A family/individual will be notified within 30days if they are financially qualified for a HFH home through our payment model. If a community bank provides pre-qualification to an applicant’s application, it does not mean that they are guaranteed a Habitat home or selected for the Habitat Homeownership Program.

  4. Final Review & Recommendation: A thorough review of your program request packet materials (including information obtained during the interview process and financial process) will be conducted by the Family Services Committee to determine your eligibility to participate in the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program. If your program request is recommended for selection, it will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and final approval.

Loan Financing Overview: Habitat for Humanity works with a community bank to provide affordable financing for our home buyers. Through community bank financing and with others, our families receive almost 100% financing. Your financial information will be forwarded to the community bank for review and you will meet with a representative from the community bank to complete a loan application and receive required documentation. Please note that there is no assurance that the community banks we refer you to will issue you a loan.

 

Learn more: 207.772.2151 / homeownership@habitatme.org 

 


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland 

Office Location / Mailing Address

659 Warren Avenue
Portland, ME 04103  

(P) (207) 772-2151  
Email: 
info@habitatme.org 

 
 
 
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