Making Homeownership Affordable

Our homeownership program partners with qualifying families to make owning a home achievable and affordable. Those selected for this program pay a monthly mortgage that does not exceed 30% of their income. Families partner with Habitat to build their home from the ground up.

Application & Selection Process


Application Window Opens: The timeline of when applications are available depends upon our build schedule. Once applications become available, the application window is open for several weeks, giving you plenty of time to complete it. During this time, Habitat staff is available to answer questions and help you fill out your application. Anyone who has filled out an interest form will be contacted via email when homeownership applications become available.


Financial Review: Once you hand in your completed application, your information will be presented to a local community bank to determine if you can afford a Habitat home. The bank will contact you to collect your proof of income, tax-returns, and other important financial info. Mortgage payments will not be more than 30% of your gross monthly income.


Interview & Home Visit: If the bank has decided you can afford to purchase a home, members of Habitat’s Family Services Committee will conduct a home visit to see the conditions you are currently living in and meet all members of your household.


Final Review & Recommendation: If the Family Services Committee recommends your application for selection, the Habitat Board of Directors will review your materials and give final approval. You’re ready to begin the journey to homeownership!

Equal Housing Statement

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, handicap, familial status, or national origin.


When the application window is open, you can get an application in-person at our administrative office in Portland, by downloading it online, or by requesting that one be mailed to you.

Habitat homes are simple and affordable but are made to blend in with the homes surrounding them. Though what each home looks like depends on where we’re building, they are generally:

  • 1-2 levels
  • maximum of four bedrooms and 1.5 baths. (This could change based on the size of your family.)
  • around 1,200 square feet (This also depends on the size of your family.)

Your credit score needs to be 640 or higher. Want to know how to improve your credit score? Talk to your bank or contact Avesta’s Homeownership Center.

43% or lower. Unsure what yours is? Use this calculator tool to find out.
If you want help improving your debt-to-income ratio, reach out to your bank or Avesta’s Homeownership Center.

The selection process can take up to three months. It can take us 12-15 months to build your home, but it also depends on how quickly the future homeowner completes the required 275 volunteer hours.

Success Stories

Zach and Elizabeth were living in a tiny 400 square foot apartment with barely functioning heat with a young child and another on the way. They felt like the booming Portland real estate market had left them behind. But when they took a chance and applied for a Habitat home, their hard work paid off. Their family enjoys the responsibility and stability of homeownership, knowing they are also building equity for the future.

- Zach & Elizabeth